Park Home Resident Magazine Christmas 2017 - Page 44

 I

Volunteering

made easy

f you can spare as little as

an hour or two a week,

volunteering can be a

life-changing experience.

For hundreds of thousands

of people in the UK, it is an

excellent way of making friends,

feeling useful, keeping busy

and having fun. We volunteer for

different reasons, we may want

to just “get out of the house” or

want to do something worthwhile. We may have a skill or

passion that we want to share,

whatever the reason, volunteering

is on the rise and it provides real

benefits to the volunteer with

the added bonus of making a

difference.

Opportunities exist that suit all

abilities, skills and ages and it

can be an immensely satisfying

way to spend your time. Whether

you decide on just an hour or

two here and there, or commit to

a part-time or even full-time role,

it’s up to you, opportunities exist

no matter how much time you

have, what abilities and skills you

have. Personally, I’ve volunteered

for the National Trust and helped

organise activity days. I found it a

really positive, fun way of spending the occasional weekend. I

made lifelong friends; learned

new skills and had an excuse to

get crafty - sometimes downright

muddy with kids of all ages.

South-West Directory

The Royal Voluntary

Service (RVS)

Aims to enrich the lifestyle of an

older generation.

www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteer

0845 608 0122

Independent Age

Offers advice and support for

people in old age and are actively

looking for volunteers.

www.independentage.org/get-involved/

volunteering-opportunities

0800 319 678

Age UK

Delivers information and advice

for volunteering services, as well

as supporting older people to love

later life.

www.ageuk.org.uk

0800 055 6112

44

Devon Voluntary Action

(DeVA)

Provides help, advice, training and

support to voluntary and community sector groups across Devon.

www.devonva.org

0845 6099901

Do It

The national database of volunteering jobs, providing 1 million

diverse opportunities from recruiting

not-for-profit oganisations.

www.do-it.org

Volunteer Centre Dorset

Part of a national network of

volunteer centres that help

voluntary and community

organisations recruit and manage

their volunteers in Dorset.

www.volunteeringdorset.org.uk/

01305 269214

Volunteer Cornwall

A charity dedicated to building

social capital and developing

the wellbeing of individuals and

communities in Cornwall.

www.volunteercornwall.org.uk

01872 265300

South Somerset Association

for Voluntary and Community

Action (SSVCA)

Hampshire Volunteer

Centres

www.ssvca.org.uk/volunteer/

www.hampshirevolunteers.org.uk/

Currently has 200 different opportunities to choose from, within 150

organisations.

Promote and support volunteering

services within Hampshire. Visit the

website and select where you live to

find the nearest volunteering contact.

01935 414023

023 8090 2458

June

on the benefits of volunteering

A few weeks ago, I met with

June in her park home in Exeter to find out about the voluntary work she does for the

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).

June came to volunteering

at her local hospital by chance.

During her treatment for breast

cancer, she’d been helped by

volunteers who worked at the

reception, greeting out-patients

and escorted both them and

their notes through the hospital to the correct location.

After her recovery and recently

retired June felt she needed

a purpose in her life and en-

quired about joining. After all

the necessary checks and training were conducted she began,

working a three hour shift in the

mornings or afternoons, several

days a week. Seven years later,

June now works most week

days and is now the co-ordinator ensuring adequate volunteers are on hand for each shift.

Finding volunteers has not

been a problem, June says

many of her colleagues, like

her, have joined through their

own personal experience and

others through visiting a friend

or relative at the hospital.

The role June volunteers for

is an active one that requires

considerable walking. She

hadn’t considered that when

joining but it has been a huge

bonus, June says that she once

clocked up an impressive 9500

steps on her pedometer in a

single 3 hour shift. Although

keeping fit is important to

June and her colleagues in

this role, there are many other

volunteering roles available to

those less active and that suit

all abilities. R

RVS

explained

The Royal Voluntary Service is a charity for the elderly, aiming to enrich the lives of people through

service support systems. In Devon, they provide assistance through services such as, the home

library service, community transport services, lunch and social clubs. In addition, the RVS creates

opportunities for people to take control of their lives; volunteering is a great way to increase your

fitness and social life. A significant number of volunteers at RVS, are people aged sixty and over, who

enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that their efforts support other people of a similar age. Volunteering

has been proven to increase health and wellbeing, acting as a buffer to the ageing process.

45





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