As a part of our partnership with Family Action, we're offering up to 20 hours of volunteering a year to support their helpline service FamilyLine through mentoring and befriending.
In 2021 we caught up with Jo Lean, our social responsibility executive who was one of our first volunteers….
So, Jo, what’s your role at LV=?
I’m a Social Responsibility Executive, which means I look after all of the charity and community activity for LV= General Insurance.
Why are LV= supporting Family Action?
We partnered with Family Action in March this year, to help us do more to support our communities locally and nationally. We already do a lot of great charity work close to our offices, but Family Action will help us reach out to even more people in need across the UK.
During the pandemic we know that people, communities and charities have been going through a really difficult time, so we wanted to put our heart into building better lives for them. Not only can we support Family Action financially and through volunteering, but they can support us with a program of events, experienced advice, and the support we need to help understand how we can really support our communities through their existing services.
Why did you sign up to be a Family Action volunteer?
During lockdown I haven’t been able to do as much in the charity space as I would usually do, with fun runs and fundraising being almost impossible, so volunteering is another way we can support charities with our own time and skills. Having a bit of spare time in the evenings meant it was the perfect fit for me, plus, I get to learn a whole new load of skills and meet new people.
I have a work mentor and I know how that relationship has been beneficial to me, so I wanted to use what I’m learning to give back to someone else who needs a bit of extra support.
What will you be doing as a volunteer?
I’ve signed up to be a befriender which means Family Action will pair me up with a person who has called in to FamilyLine and has been identified as needing ongoing support. For example, they may be feeling isolated and in need of someone to talk to about their feelings, or perhaps they might need support with self-esteem and confidence. We’ll talk for an hour a week on a prearranged day, for a set amount of sessions.
I’ve just had my group training and I’m now having my one to one training with Family Action. I’m learning to use their platform ready for when I’m paired up with my first caller.
The training teaches you skills such as how to provide a safe space for people to talk, who should be leading the call, invaluable listening skills, and how to reflect on the conversation afterwards - to name just a few.
I’ve also been trained on the call platform I’ll be using to make the calls, which I can access from my work laptop. Plus, I’ve been taught how to access support from Family Action supervisors if I need any additional help during or after a call.
What do you think you’ll gain by being a volunteer?
This will be a whole new experience for me, I’m hoping to make a real difference to someone who needs a listening ear and to provide a bit of extra support through a difficult time in their lives. Hopefully the sense of achievement from helping someone feel better will be the same as fundraising - but instead of giving money, I’ll be giving my time. I know charities need volunteers to keep their services going, and this is something I can do from home.
I’ll write more blogs and stories as I go through the process… watch this space!