Volunteering with Age UK

16th November 2015:


I had been thinking about volunteering for some considerable time.  After my mother died in December 2012, I decided that now was the time to do it.  But it took another year before I started to making enquiries and giving some serious thought to what I wanted to do.  And even then, there were a few false starts.  


I knew I wanted it to be an elderly charity but couldn’t decide which one and in what capacity.  But an advert on a train finally decided me.


'No-one should have no-one' is Age UK’s powerful advertising campaign, highlighting the loneliness of elderly people; loneliness caused when their kids have left home, when their spouse has passed away, when they become housebound.


Age UK Befrienders pop in once a week to have a cup of tea, a chat about … well, absolutely anything, really ... and just offer a little company.



When I first contacted Age UK in September last year and mentioned that I would like to become a Befriender, they immediately swung into action.



Within weeks I had met the Volunteer Co-Ordinator to discuss the role, received my Volunteers' manual, been to a Volunteers' Evening, had my volunteer's pass. 


I already felt part of the team.


Talking to other volunteers, I understood it could take some time to be "paired off" with someone but in January this year I went with a member of staff to meet Doreen.  Since then, I have been to see her every week to have a chat, have a cuppa (with biscuits, of course) and just generally put the world to rights for a couple of hours.


We’ve looked at family photos, talked about holidays, watched the TV coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, discussed my blisters caused by taking part in Great North Run and the London Moonwalk, and chatted about her work for British Aerospace before she retired.


Going to see her is always great and if I've had a frustrating day, it allows me to calm down, draw a line under whatever has upset me, and just relax for a couple of hours.  So I think it fair to say that going to Doreen's helps me as much as it helps her!


To volunteer with Age UK in any capacity, take a look at www.ageuk.org.uk.  You won't regret it and you'll make such a difference.



Christine ... in the shed

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