As it’s National Volunteers Week, we wanted to recognise the people who have supported us and our members over the years by sharing the stories and experiences of some of our amazing volunteers.
We asked our volunteers to describe in their own words, what made them want to become a volunteer, has it made a difference to them in anyway and what has been their highlight.
Meet our volunteer Juliet…
“Volunteering was something I’d thought about doing for a long time as I’ve always enjoyed being able to help people & get involved with activities. My initial reservations about volunteering were having the time and making the commitment, however, finding the right volunteer role allayed any concerns I had. Supporting Older People Charity was a natural choice given it’s commendable aim to support people living in isolation, which cuts across so many people’s lives within our community. Whilst it may be altruistic to befriend someone that’s lonely and in need of companionship, the benefits can also apply to the volunteer.
I’m surprised how rewarding I’ve found it as my initial expectation was it would be more about the impact I would have on the individuals I’ve befriended. I can honestly say I’ve made two good friends and getting to know about each other’s lives has been fascinating and insightful. Having established good friendships, I do what I can to help. The majority of time it’s about companionship and having someone visiting or chatting on the phone but, occasionally, its also about giving a helping hand as anyone would do for a friend. I know my friends look forward to seeing me, and vice versa, and we always have a laugh and manage to put the world to rights!
The biggest highlight and heart-warming experience was reuniting one of my friends with his family that he’d completely lost touch with for over 28-years. My friend was desperate to reconnect with his family who lived down South so, with some detective work using social media, he was reunited with eight members of his family, two of whom immediately travelled up to Harrogate to see him. I was absolutely elated for him and the story was reported in the Harrogate Advertiser and, whilst it was a “feel good” story, I believe it helped highlight the power of volunteering and people helping people. Another highlight has been getting involved with fundraising for SOP, which is good fun and very rewarding. Meeting other volunteers has been great and I’ve made good friends along the way. “
Would you like to become a volunteer?
Without the support of volunteers, many local charities like us wouldn’t be unable to help as many people as we do in our community.
Here at Supporting Older People, there are many ways you can get involved whether that’s chatting to someone who is on their own through our telephone befriending service or shopping on behalf of someone with limited mobility during lockdown.
If you’d like to find more about Supporting Older People, the people we help and becoming a volunteer then head over to our website www.supportingolderpeople.org.uk or please give us a call on 07535 508043.