Could You Become A Volunteer?
Hundreds of volunteers give up their time to help older people across the region enjoy life, but they get out of it just as much as they put in.
Gaining new skills and valuable work experience are just two of the reasons people, of all ages, sign up to volunteer with Age UK West Cumbria. Volunteers are welcomed from the age of 16 upwards and with the oldest currently at an impressive 92 years old, there really is no limit – age or otherwise – to who can benefit from helping older members of the community to love later life.
In West Cumbria alone, Age UK currently has 440 volunteers, giving a total of 100,000 hours of their own time every year. They provide a whole spectrum of services, from befriending socially isolated people and organising community groups, to helping in charity shops or local Age UK centres, to helping with admin, running awareness campaigns and much more.
Alyson Carney, of Age UK West Cumbria explained: “Some of our volunteers just come in and sit and chat to people, it’s somebody for them to talk to, a bit of companionship. We have ‘befrienders’ who will go to people’s homes if they are a bit isolated or lonely, it brightens their day up and gives them something to look forward to.”
She added: “We try to provide whatever we can, if there is someone who needs our help”.
With the variety of roles on offer to those interested in volunteering with Age UK West Cumbria, the opportunities are unlimited. Some people do it to help them get back into work, with the added benefit of learning a new skill and undertaking the training provided by the charity. Students often do it as part of their coursework or Duke of Edinburgh challenge. Others simply want to socialise more.
Alyson said: “The majority of our volunteers get involved to get out of the house, to meet friends and find companionship themselves. Many want to give something back to the community. Others want to help raise money for Age UK so that we can support more older people in the community.”
Their reasons and roles may vary greatly, but all of the volunteers have one thing in common, they want to make a difference.
Alyson added: “Our volunteers really enjoy what they do, which is why we have so many. But we’re always looking for more volunteers in all areas, I don’t think we can ever have enough.”
To find out more about volunteering contact 08443 843 843 or visit www.ageukwestcumbria.org.uk