‘I volunteer because there are people who need me’

Dec 28, 2020

Jayn Harris, another Luton Business Hero.

LUTON has hailed another of its Business Heroes: Jayn Harris, who has been volunteering tirelessly throughout the pandemic alongside her role as manager at Luton Shopmobility.

She is one of Luton Council’s Community Champions, attending regular conference calls and spreading official information to the local community in her spare time.

Jayn also trained as a ‘Dementia Friend’ to encourage others to learn and help those living with dementia, and worked as an NHS Volunteer Responder from the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite the recent challenges for shops and charities during Covid, Jayn has led the Luton Shopmobility team to make sure the independent voluntary organisation is Covid-safe. She says she is proud to have been able to ensure those with mobility issues still had the opportunity to shop locally.  

“Luton Shopmobility provides an hourly loan service of manual wheelchairs and electric scooters to people with mobility difficulties,” she says. “We also work with South Beds Dial-a-Ride to provide a safe and reliable door-to-door transport service to Luton Shopmobility.

“I have always been willing to guide, advise and help people throughout my career but since working at Luton Shopmobility, especially during 2020, I have realised just how much I enjoy making a difference to those that really need it.

“Through my job I assist people with mobility difficulties to have a more complete life and enjoy themselves.”

Jayn has previously worked in recruitment consultancy and in the management office in The Mall Luton. But working at Luton Shopmobility gives her much more satisfaction, she says.

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“You can genuinely see how much our efforts have positively influenced people’s lives and I feel very rewarded by the reaction from the people we are here to help. The struggle for funding is always a challenge though, and I continually go above and beyond to highlight the impact of Luton Shopmobility to potential supporters.

“We all know the service is very much needed and will be required more and more in the future too. Since losing all formal funding to cover the day-to-day costs, there is a constant worry about how we will keep running.

“I am lucky to have good friends that help in any way they can. They provide time and items that we can try and sell to raise a little because, in our case, it is true that every little does help.

“I also have the support of my partner who will run errands, do repairs and pretty much anything that is asked of him. I will continue to volunteer over and above what is expected in my role, because there are people who need me.”

To become a volunteer at Luton Shopmobility, or to learn how to fundraise and support in other ways, email info@lutonbid.org.  

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