Stefan Jordan from Nottingham is a Business Development Manager at Credit Style, one of the UK’s leading players in debt recovery. He has recently surpassed 5,000 hours of availability on the NHS GoodSAM app, time he has spent supporting over 50 individual people with ongoing needs throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Stefan is now calling on more people to follow his example and become local volunteer responders themselves.
Stefan became an NHS volunteer last year after being furloughed from his previous job. He intended to use his new-found availability to help vulnerable people get to and from hospital, gain access to their prescriptions and receive their shopping until he returned to work, or took up a new career opportunity. In August 2020, he joined Credit Style, who encouraged him to keep up the volunteering work he was now keen on continuing in his spare time.
“I was surprised by the level of flexibility that is possible when becoming an NHS volunteer responder”, said Stefan. “There is no commitment required and you only accept ‘jobs’ based on what works for you. It’s almost like Uber, with local requests coming through the app on my phone whenever I make myself available. Whilst I did not originally intend to keep going this long, seeing how appreciative so many people were made it feel wrong to even consider stopping. The experience has opened my eyes to how terrified some older people remain about COVID-19. I feel like even after the pandemic ends, this is something I will always want to do now, for as long as I can.”
Medication and prescription pick-ups have taken up the majority of Stefan’s time, followed by food shopping for people who cannot leave home, including one elderly couple he has provided weekly grocery deliveries to for over a year. Stefan has also made phone calls from home to lonely members of the community, something he says has had reverse benefits too. “Speaking to people who do not have anyone else to have a conversation with feels rewarding, because you know you have made a positive difference to that person’s day. I think that has positive effects for a volunteer’s mental health as well, as this has been a challenging time for everyone and talking about thoughts and feelings can only be a good thing.”
Stefan believes he is the prime example that anyone can get involved with volunteering if they have the desire to help others. “I have always worked in financial services and have been involved in fund recovery on behalf of companies for over 20 years. Debt recovery professionals do not often get commended for their background, but my experience has made me confident when communicating with people and taught me how to discuss individual circumstances and needs. It has also ensured I am up to speed with the latest coronavirus precautions and guidelines, which is important if you intend to safely attend a property to make a delivery to someone vulnerable.”
Stefan admits he is looking forward to the future but hopes some of the lessons learned during recent times will result in future positive outcomes. “I have been working from home since joining Credit Style and I am looking forward to eventually meeting my colleagues face to face! Relationship building is important and part of why NHS volunteering was so appealing to me. I implore anyone who has time on their hands to give being a responder a go and lend a hand to some of the people in the community that need support. Any help makes a difference and it could be the start of something positive that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.”