AGE UK IS APPEALING FOR MORE VOLUNTEERS to join the Charity and help make a difference to the lives of older people ahead of Volunteers’ Week.
The week which runs from 1 to 7 June recognises the contribution of volunteers in communities across the country, and Age UK is hoping to inspire a new generation of volunteers to give up their time to help older people who have no one to turn to.
There are various roles available to those who volunteer, including;
Become a telephone befriender
Age UK’s Telephone Friendship Services are there to provide a regular, friendly conversation for those who want it by matching older people up with a trained volunteer who calls them at the same time every week. Just 30 minutes a week of a volunteer’s time can make an enormous difference to an older person’s life – anyone who is empathetic and enjoys talking on the phone could be perfect for this role, which can be delivered from a location convenient to the volunteer, such as their home or place of work.
Join an Age UK shop team
Age UK has over 250 charity shops across England and Wales, which help raise vital funds for its work and services,. The shops are dependent on the support of volunteers, who not only help with the essential operations but also offer a friendly welcome and chat for everyone who comes in. Every hour volunteers contribute makes a difference, says the charity.
Offering a variety of roles, taster sessions and time slots to fit around volunteer’s lives, Age UK shops have opportunities behind the scenes and on the shop floor, including serving customers and creating displays, managing stock donations and assisting with administration.
Volunteer for the Silverline Helpline
Age UK’s subsidiary charity, The Silver Line Helpline, is the only free and confidential 24-hour helpline in the UK for people over the age of 55 who feel lonely and isolated. Becoming a Helpline volunteer enables people to use their skills and experience to make a difference to the lives of older people, helping to boost their happiness and wellbeing.
Offer support to a local Age UK
There is a network of over 120 independent local Age UKs, and Age Scotland, Age Northern Ireland and Age Cymru organisations that run a variety of services. These are wide-ranging but include health and fitness activities, digital inclusion programmes and home from hospital transport. Some of these organisations also offer local telephone and face-to-face friendship services for older people feeling lonely. Volunteers play a key role in the delivery of these services.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Every day, in so many ways, our volunteers give their time and effort to make an incredible difference to the lives of older people. Without them, we couldn’t be here when we’re needed the most and we are hugely grateful.
“I am a telephone befriender myself for Age UK and speak to the same lady every week on a Friday afternoon. We both enjoy our conversations and we’ve become quite good friends. My Age UK colleagues matched us and did a good job of it, as we both like gardening and wildlife, and dote on our respective cats! These calls are a part of my life now too and something I value and enjoy, just as my telephone friend does too. I thoroughly recommend it, but if this isn’t for you then there are lots of other volunteering opportunities available, and most of them are flexible so you can fit them around other things you do.”
* More information on becoming a volunteer for Age UK here.
* Source: Age UK