EASTBOURNE VOLUNTEERS WITH HELEN BURTON: We can all help to look after each other

Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001
Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001

Family comes first. This has always been my motto, and I’m sure most of us feel the same way. If you are a working single parent like me (I may not get paid but I do work as a full-time volunteer) then you are probably having the same struggles I am.

I want to spend time with my daughter and make sure she has a lovely holiday, but at the same time I am pulled in several different directions and need to make sure things at the Hub are okay, the new project The Junction is progressing and then there is our home to maintain. I set a new record this month when some of our grocery shopping sat on the kitchen worktop for four days. The frozen and fridge stuff was where it needed to be and the rest didn’t matter! It’s not that I didn’t have time to do it of course, my priorities lay elsewhere and it was just fine where it was. Time with my daughter is far more important, and as soon as she’s in bed so am I at the moment! I am lucky of course, I have a home, a family and the luxury of being able to buy food that sits on the worktop, not put away.

Whenever I think of my struggles and start to feel stressed, I take the time to remind myself of the people I, and others like me working hard in the community, are helping. Anyone who has walked around the town centre recently will have seen for themselves the increased problem of street homelessness. The numbers of people forced to use the Foodbank are increasing. Access to support with mental health issues is difficult. I could go on, but it would depress you, and that wouldn’t help. Those of us paying attention know that things are getting harder for the most vulnerable in our society, but there is something we can all do. Mobilise. Support each other. Look after our families first of course, but not forget our neighbours and our wider communities. Let us especially not forget those members of our community who don’t have a family or a home.

If you are reading this wondering what you can do there are several things. Easiest of all is to donate to a local good cause. There are plenty of great causes in Eastbourne, all of whom need your support. Perhaps you could volunteer your time to help? At our community information hub in the town centre we are working hard to try and connect local resources and promote volunteering. Pop in or email us at eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com We can help to find you a role that you will enjoy whilst helping others. Still not sure how to get involved? Come to our community networking meeting on September 4 at the Tesco Community Space in Lottbridge Drove, 7-9pm. Have a cuppa with us and chat with people active in the community. Together, we can achieve more, and that is what Eastbourne Volunteers is all about.