Volunteering: Are you the magic number?

Posted on: 31st July 2014

Jed’s been doing some maths on what it means to volunteer at Body & Soul…

To many, the formula for the support Body & Soul offers thousands of people living with HIV might look like this:

Body & Soul = 1:1 Support + Therapies x Practical Support & Advocacy + Information & Advocacy + Courses and Workshops/Children, Young People & Families

But there’s something missing from this equation. For nearly 18 years, a key element of our work has been our constant outreach to members of all ages or numerically speaking…

6,205 contact and support calls to children, young people and families in the last 3 months.

Over 20,000 in the last year…

Over 300,000 in the last 17.75 years!

These magic numbers have represented a lifeline to many over the years but they represent much more than numbers. Each digit represents the dedication of volunteers, mentors and outreach volunteers who provide a regular link to members, however life might be going. In this age of telemarketing, cold calls and unsolicited sales calls, imagine someone who was genuinely only calling to see how you are!

After nearly 18 years since Body & Soul first began, HIV-affected families in the UK are all too often still experiencing loneliness and isolation. HIV feels to many of our members as something more likely to lead to judgement and rejection than understanding and support. On top of the challenges that HIV already creates, this isolation can make life feel too much, whether you’re living with HIV yourself or are closely affected, young or old.

As Body & Soul turns 18 later this year, we feel it’s now the time to develop further to meet the growing demand on our services. We’re now recruiting ‘Lifeline Volunteers’ to provide vital phone outreach work that can begin to break isolation and give hope for the future.

As a Lifeline Volunteer, you’ll be that familiar friendly voice, building relationships with members over the phone, the person that listens, understands and helps work out the next steps. If you’d like to hear more, get in touch and we’ll let you know what’s happening next in this exciting expansion of our core services.

If you can offer a few hours on a regular basis, we would love to hear from you…

Illustration by Matthew Hollister

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