We are delighted to announce that Jen Gadsby and Donna Thomas (both volunteers of VA) received a Thrapston Town Community Award for their fantastic Volunteering work through VA. Details below:
Jen Gadsby
Small charities cannot function without volunteers.
Jen joined Volunteer Action in October 2021.
She joined as a face to face volunteer and started visiting almost immediately. She has provided F2F support to several individuals since joining.
However, Jen’s biggest contribution has been as our Volunteer Assessor. Her experience as an Occupational Therapist soon identified her as a VA asset and she was invited to help further.
Jen goes out to meet individuals in the community who have been referred to VA’s Befriending Service. She assesses their needs and interests and is usually the very first VA face that our members see. She is cheerful and positive, yet realistic. Her skills at establishing a rapport with people who have been isolated, and are therefore sometimes anxious and vulnerable, are unsurpassed.
As at 21/02/24:
78 F2F visits to her own befriendees
49 assessment visits,
41 introductory meets between members and volunteers
Supported 14 social events and 9 support meetings
Various other meetings and support
>220 hours of support (and that’s the recorded hours)
As well as the hours Jen commits to VA, which ensure our service efficient and supportive, her vast experience and her wisdom make her an excellent sounding board which helps staff, me in particular, do a good job too. The VA Befriending Service would be a less successful service without her. She is an essential cog in our wheel!
Donna Thomas
You probably know Donna well from the Thrapston Charter fair fame (among many other things). However, Donna has been a volunteer with Va as a Driver for many years and she is driving on an almost permanent full time basis with us. Travelling 4074 miles during journeys in 2023 – she is one of our top ten drivers for the Voluntary service.
However, Donna provides so much more to the community than driving – she is a fantastic support to all who meet her – and a lot of our vulnerable and elderly passengers request Donna’s support time and time again in the Thrapston area. She is also a volunteer with Cruise Counselling…and probably a lot more than I am aware of!
She truly is a Town champion.