Name: Rachael Loftus
What roles do you perform? Meet & Greet and Observation Marshal
Describe your usual shift: I have done three shifts so far, as a Meet & Greet volunteer, an Observation Marshal, and one as a ‘floater’, helping out where needed. When I first arrive, I have my temperature checked and complete a rapid Covid test which isn’t the most pleasant thing to do! I haven’t managed to do one without gagging yet…! If people need assistance, I help them up the ramp / steps and ensure they are in the building safely. It can be wet and cold but it’s important to keep smiling and be welcoming to everyone coming. Some are nervous about the vaccine, or even being out and about after shielding or isolating for some time. As an Observation Marshal, I look after the patients once they have had their vaccine and ask them to sit down so we can observe them for 15 minutes to ensure they haven’t had a reaction (nobody has yet). We can have quite a few people in the area at one time, all sat socially distanced, so we walk round looking at their times and reminding people to go and checking everyone is OK. I also get to talk to them and have heard some fascinating stories.
What is your usual job or employment? I am currently on furlough from working at Head Office for a children’s residential holiday company.
What made you want to volunteer? I have been on furlough since late March 2020 and have had various volunteering roles since then, including charity shops, Royal Voluntary Service for the NHS and Ross Good Neighbours where I was with the shopping delivery team doing the admin, entering prices and issuing receipts. Not only have I felt like I’ve been helping people in need and the community but it has also kept me busy whilst not working. I have met some great people that I wouldn’t normally meet, and I have enjoyed it. It is something I would definitely like to continue doing when things return to some sort of normality.
Tell us something about you: I like travelling abroad and across the UK (when we were allowed!), reading and cooking. I can’t wait until we are able to meet up with family & friends and spend time with my gorgeous godsons again.
Finally, do you have any other plans during this lockdown? I have just moved house so will be busy stripping wallpaper, decorating and attempt gardening. And waiting to return to work and being back in a routine!
Note from Ross-on-Wye Community Development Trust: If you are waiting to receive your Covid-19 vaccine, please contact your own local GP surgery and they will be able to advise on their scheduling. If you are self-isolating or need practical assistance during lockdown including shopping deliveries, please contact the Ross Good Neighbours’ Helpline on 01989 313002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you.