Jayn Harris has been tirelessly volunteering throughout the pandemic on top of her role as manager at Luton Shopmobility – she is a true Luton town centre Business Hero.
Jayn not only acted as one of Luton Council’s much-needed Community Champions, attending regular conference calls and spreading official information to the local community in her spare time, she also trained as a ‘Dementia Friend’ to encourage others to 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 also led her dedicated 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 through COVID.
“Luton Shopmobility provides an hourly loan service of manual wheelchairs and electric scooters to people with mobility difficulties,” explains Jayn. “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 a variety of roles – recruitment consultancy, and the management office in The Mall Luton, but she says working at Luton Shopmobility gives her much more satisfaction.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shopmobility is located on 3rd floor of The Mall’s Market car park.
To nominate your own Business Hero click HERE.