On Thursday, we were invited to attend a CVS (Community Volunteer Service) meeting at the Whitehouse. The purpose of these meetings is for charities to meet with local business to discuss ways they can approach problems they are experiencing, usually involving engaging and recruiting the public, or specific demographics.
I was sat on the table with Debbie Gibbon, who is the lead on many aspects of care charities within Telford. The problem she was facing was how to engage local businesses to become “Dementia Friendly” and to have a point of contact of carers, where they can approach and ask for advice or be pointed in the right direction of services and help.
The conversation quickly turned to how it could be seen as Corporate Social Responsibility for companies to have this help available, but the general consensus was you have to make the company feel as though they are being rewarded for helping the charity. Various ways were suggested and I think Debbie took a lot of ideas away with her. The next problem arose, which was how to reach out to carers who are not known, or do not know that they are a carer.
Debbie told us there are approximately 17,500 carers in Telford and Wrekin, but only 2,500 are known to them. She stated their current approach was not working in helping them identify the people who potentially needed their help. We were given one of the Carers Centre’s current leaflets to look at, which we quickly decided was to vague. Nothing about the leaflet screamed “Pick me up! I could be useful to you!” so we thought it would likely just be overlooked. Talk quickly turned to a mobile app, which would point people in the right direction of useful services and advice in times of need. Carers often think they aren’t eligible for help, so do not look for it, this app could help them realise this isn’t always the case.
We also discussed ways to approach people who might know someone who is carer and does not realise it. These were the people we decided the charity needed to target to help them support the 15,000 unknown carers in the local community.
If you know someone who is a carer, whether they realise it or not, and they live in Telford, please direct them to http://telfordcarers.org.uk/ where they can find help and support in many areas.
Once we arrived at college, we were straight into working on our assignments as deadlines are dooming. The part of the day people were anticipating most, however, was Beth’s lesson. During Beth’s lesson we would be pitching our event ideas to Joel, from Jailhouse Tours, for him to consider holding at The Dana in Shrewsbury.
I was feeling confident about my idea of holding a Notorious Serial Killer tour, I wasn’t feeling to great about standing in front of everyone and pitching it though!
5pm arrived, along with Joel, and the butterflies began. I was up first and petrified. I feel I started off great, clear speech and lots of enthusiasm but then all of a sudden I lost my train of thought and began to stumble over my words. I internally panicked, knowing that once that starts, a stammer is pretty imminent. Luckily I made it to the end without too much of an issue! Joel seemed to like my idea, he said he thought they had thought of everything, or been presented it, but this hadn’t yet come up. He had lots of feedback, and ways it could be altered to fit properly, but he seemed to think it had some potential.
Once it was over, and I could relax, I wondered what I had ever been worried about. I had written the pitch well, and had covered every aspect that needed to be covered. I think I just need to work on my confidence with public speaking!