Susan’s lockdown experience inspires her to Give It Forward

11/11/20Susan’s lockdown experience inspires her to Give It Forward

During Lockdown, volunteers through GIFT began helping 74 year old Susan Pollock with her shopping and prescription requests, as she was isolating and vulnerable with many health issues.  This then extended into befriending phone calls from volunteers, and when permitted, she received garden visits from university students who absolutely loved visiting her.  It was during one of these visits that Susan expressed how she used to be an early years’ teacher and that she missed working with children.  

With the help of one of her befrienders, who set up the technology and the zoom meetings, Susan decided she would put on a weekly storytelling session over zoom. 

This was advertised to GIFT families and to the local community too and Susan’s storytelling sessions became a reality and have been running weekly since the beginning of July. 

Susan has a great rotation of books with engaging pictures. The children look forward to ‘Storytime with Susan’ and many have said it is the highlight of their week!

Susan absolutely loves being able to contribute and give back to a community who have helped her in such an incredible way.

Student Kira Moshal, 22 who has been helping Susan with this project told us “Susan was so eager to establish this storytelling group as a way of contributing to our community’s stellar volunteering efforts. It has been so special to see how she interacts and engages with the children, always making sure to greet them by name. Her kindness has also given parents a much needed break.”

Michelle Barnett GIFT Founding Director explains “GIFT is an anachronym for ‘Give It Forward Today’ and Susan’s story is a wonderful example of the power and contagious nature of giving and the raison d’être of our charity, to inspire giving. It is thanks to all the amazing volunteers who came to her aid during lockdown, inspiring Susan to give back.”

If you would like to volunteer your time or resources through GIFT, sign up through or call 0208 457 4429

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"She opens her mouth with wisdom, the teaching of kindness is on her tongue"
Proverbs 31:26