After volunteering for The Friendship Cafe, I was eager to gain more volunteering experience with a group in Walsall.
For my next mini volunteering adventure I found “The Watch” at Pelsall Village Centre, a neighbourhood crime prevention hub.
In this round of volunteering, it was really important to me that the session was community-minded, interesting and kept my feet warm!
Edwin met me in Reception, where he introduced me to staff, mentioned the fire safety, kitchen and toilets areas and gave me an overview of what went on in the building. The office was cosy and welcoming, a nice space where the public can pop in and talk to the volunteers, and receive free, friendly crime prevention advice. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but Edwin explained that he, Bernard and another volunteer manage the office from Monday to Saturday. Occasionally, they visit people in home to give security advice. We had a lovely conversation on how to set up a neighbourhood watch in my own area, including what I need to prepare and in place to make it happen.
Around mid-morning, one of the elves from the baby group came in, in a bit of a panic because their Santa hadn’t turned up. My first thought was, “Oh my gosh! What do we do?” I noted that Edwin seemed willing and the Santa outfit was onsite… Maybe this would be my opportunity to staff the office… Panic over! Santa was stuck in traffic, so we finished our tea and carried on looking at the safety products.
The office has lots of domestic and personal safety items for sale, including locks, personal alarms, shed locks and all sorts of other gadgets. I took the opportunity of purchasing some credit card sleeves, which prevent a person cloning your card when out and about, and a bell for my purse which will ring if someone tries to take it. After a few hours of use, I do think the bell on my handbag will have to go because I felt a bit like Rudolph walking about town afterwards, jingling away.
Whilst in the office, I also had a go at using the till and recording purchases, including writing everything down, the transactions and the amounts. I went through every product in the cupboards so I knew what they were and how they were used, so all in all I am more aware now than I was before.
Edwin has a wealth of information on how to keep yourself and your property safe, and the Watch Hub is well worth a visit on your travels.
Pelsall Village Centre High St, Pelsall, Walsall WS3 4LX – with free car park
Although I have only done about 8 volunteering hours so far, remember if you do volunteer over 100 hours in a year, you are entitled to a discount card which gives you 10% or more off in local Walsall shops and businesses. Just have a quick look at the website and remember, it’s free to sign up! https://www.valueyou.org/
Happy Christmas and New Year everyone!