Tarika Yajnik - Milton Keynes

PJP Key Workers

Tarika Yajnik: Volunteer, Milton Keynes

Hi, I’m Tarika,

I provide my services on a volunteer basis at Milton Keynes Hindu Association (MKHA). At present, I am serving as Assistant Treasurer at MKHA.

My personal experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic was that it has created loneliness and financial difficulties, especially for the vulnerable community within the UK. I believe in equality and humanity and as such decided to offer help and reassurance to anyone regardless of their race, age, religion or gender/sexual orientation. The aim is to offer help to those who have fallen on hard times including listening therapy non-judgementally to those who have fallen on hard times and are feeling alone. Over the last two years I have done grocery shopping for the elderly, sick and disabled, collected prescriptions and delivered medicines (sometimes at late unsocial hours).

I also liaised with local businesses and supermarkets on a daily basis for donations of essential food items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta and tinned foods to deliver to local food banks, Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter, Willen Hospice and needy and vulnerable families.

On a weekly basis, my schedule would include communicating with

• Elderly and vulnerable members of the community

• Hospital staff

• Members of food banks and night shelters, retirement homes and those living on their own; and

• Local medical centres/surgeries and pharmacists.

Whilst it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of all my volunteer duties/activities I have been involved with team members to agree the most suitable course of action, agree on meal menus which are both healthy and nutritious and consult with caterers and chefs to provide fresh lunch meals for the listed group of individuals and work with other volunteers to arrange collection and delivery of hot meals. I also provide company and spend some time with lonely and isolated members of the local community.

The project I am working on at the moment is Art and Heritage MK where we carry out workshops to interact and engage with people of all ages.

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