It’s Volunteers' Week and each day one of our amazing volunteers will share their experience of volunteering with Nunhead Knocks.
Marion Dewar has lived in the area for eight years and helps man the phones and emails for Nunhead Knocks, a vital service in the current climate.
“I moved to Nunhead about eight years ago. I was born in South London and moved out quite a long time ago, and I came back to Nunhead as its where my daughter settled. It was around the time that the Ivy House was going through problems and was going to be knocked down and redeveloped for flats.
“I decided to became a shareholder in the pub, because it seemed like a big community asset. The fact it was under threat stirred something in the community. Businesses like the Ivy House as well as all the little shops are important to the area and give it a real community feel.
“I saw a message asking for Nunhead Knocks volunteers on the Nunhead Rocks Facebook page, and I thought; it’s such a small thing for me to be doing, I really should do it. I retired three and a half years ago, and found I didn’t have an awful lot to do. Plus, I wanted to do it! I really wanted to be involved.
"I started right at the beginning of Nunhead Knocks, doing one or two shifts a week. I answer the phones and emails, find out what people need, complete forms and submit them; then on occasion I raise the urgent ones on email.
“I’m glad I can help the community by doing my bit and raise awareness of the services out there for vulnerable people.
“Volunteering with Nunhead Knocks has really highlighted that there are a lot of people out there that need support, often not related to the COVID-19 crisis, but don’t get it.
“For example, a lady who got in touch with me hadn’t been outside for six weeks or two months. This was how she’d understood the government advice, but she hadn’t seen it properly or in full, as she didn’t have a computer. She didn’t have anyone to speak to, to confirm she should be doing this, or to help her understand when she might be able to go out.
“We so often assume that people can look at things online, and an awful lot of people don't have access to that.
“Nunhead Knocks has raised awareness of how many people locally need help and to be able to access it easily. It’s such a mixed community in this area, and some people are really struggling in this time. There’s support out there but, from my experience speaking to people over the past couple of months, it’s clear some don't quite know where to go for it, or how to easily access it.
“I think what Nunhead Knocks has done is to provide an easy way to access much-needed support, something that hasn't necessarily been there for people before. Even simple things like putting leaflets through the door and getting word around, giving people a phone number that they can call, and a person that they can speak to; all of these things make a really important difference."
Committee members Claire, Paddy and Charlie look back on their time in the group and how it should be structured in the future.
Residents of Nunhead and Peckham share how lockdown impacted their mental health.