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'Making a difference to Leicester community was so rewarding'

2 Aug 2020
Rebecca Pawley, Leicester City

Leicester City in the Community's Rebecca Pawley discusses her volunteer work with the NHS during the coronavirus crisis

As an operations assistant with Leicester City in the Community, Rebecca Pawley's job involves ensuring local people have the support they need from the Premier League club.

But during the coronavirus crisis she has been offering help to the vulnerable in a much more involved way.

Rebecca is among 14 members of staff at the organisation who have been volunteering with bodies such as the Cooperative and Age UK, with encouragement from her employers, to those who most need their help.

In Rebecca's case, she became a community response volunteer for the NHS, helping people by shopping for essentials and making phone calls to catch up with those who are vulnerable.

"Being able to help others gave me a sense of purpose at a time when everyone felt a little bit helpless," she says.

"Just knowing that I was able to make a difference, however small, to people was really rewarding."

"“The sense of relief I heard in his voice when he knew someone could help really made it so worthwhile.”"

Rebecca Pawley, Leicester City in the Community

Rebecca's help was invaluable when a distressed father got in touch to say he had become unemployed and his family was running out of food.

"After speaking to the family, I made some urgent enquiries with local charities and I contacted my local councillor, who raised an urgent case for the family," Rebecca recalls.

"The family received an emergency food parcel early the next morning and were referred for more support and weekly food parcels.

"The sense of relief I heard in his voice when he knew someone could help really made it so worthwhile."

Rebecca has also been involved with Leicester City Council’s "Good Neighbour" scheme, while she became the co-lead for Covid-19 Mutual Aid, supporting local authorities and making sure local people were up to date with the latest guidance.

'Family club'

With the city of Leicester currently under a local lockdown again, Rebecca will continue to volunteer as she is needed.

Meanwhile, Leicester City in the Community have been finding ways to engage with their participants in new ways, delivering programmes virtually through technology. These programmes have, for example, been keeping schoolkids active at home, or teenagers occupied to stay on the right paths.

"Leicester City are known for being a family club and a community-focused one too," says Rebecca.

"We support such a wide range of people in the community and we wanted to find ways to reach as many of them as we could and show we were still there for them."

More lockdown stories

See: Coronavirus, clubs and community

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