Hearing first hand how volunteers are a lifeline

Delivering Move Mail gave trustee John the opportunity to find out how our beneficiaries feel

John Bourton is a trustee and volunteer at Move the Masses. As well as getting out walking as a Move Mate, he also delivers Move Mail for the charity, essentially making a same day delivery on foot or bike to a beneficiary, instead of using the postal system.


In December he had a wonderful time delivering lots of Christmas cards to our beneficiaries. Recognising the importance of human contact, John always makes the time for a little distanced doorstep chat when he delivers Move Mail. 

John heard time and time again how Move Mates were a ‘lifeline’ for people, that there were the thing people most looked forward to in their week and that often they were the only person many people get to talk to during a lockdown. 


John feels really good realising his own experience of being a Move Mate was replicated throughout the city and everyone was having a similar, positive experience.

“I love the opportunity to meet lots of people and find it really interesting. Chatting on the doorstep once again highlighted how important Move Mates are to their beneficiaries.


One specific person he delivered a card to, a man in Elvington, said having a Move Mate was ‘the best thing that had happened in lockdown.’ Although he was able to get out by himself, he had no motivation to walk on his own. His Move Mate gave him the impetus to get out, walk, take in some fresh air and talk about all sorts. He loved the opportunity to share his everyday concerns.


More recently John bumped into a previous beneficiary of his, someone who he had walked a lot with and who had gained the confidence to do it herself so no longer needed his support. They met, by chance, quite some way away from her home, a lot further than she had ever walked with him. She was very pleased to see him and confirmed her confidence and progress were every increasing.

“It is a bit like meeting someone you taught to drive a little while after they have passed their driving test. Seeing them all independent and happy is a really great feeling.


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