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Volunteer Co-ordinators at Royal Voluntary Service get as much out of volunteering with them as the people they help.

Here is just one of the volunteers stories:-

I am 65 years old and have been an RVS Volunteer for over 5 years now. A few days after my 60th birthday my husband passed away with Cancer.  I was devastated, having been with him since I was 16 years old.  I knew life had to go on and a few months later I joined Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) as a volunteer.

I chose the RVS because they were very good and  helped me with my ailing father a number of years prior.  Being a volunteer helped me immensely to come to terms with my loss.  It got me out of the house and gave me a real sense of purpose. It really has changed my life for the better.

As well as volunteers gaining an incredible amount out of volunteering, they are also making an incredible difference to so many people’s lives, as told by one of the inspiring participant’s:-

Linda has lived in her own home all her life until recently. At the beginning of the year her health deteriorated drastically. Sadly in February she had to have both of her legs amputated due to diabetes.

She is a very strong willed lady and made a remarkable recovery, however, she was unable to return to her own home. Linda needed 24/7 care including medical care and therefore moved into a care home. Although the care home was very good the other residents were a lot older than Linda and most had a form of dementia.  Linda found that the only meaningful conversation she could have was with the staff and her own visitors.  When a friend mentioned a group run by Royal Voluntary Service at a local day centre, she jumped at the chance. She now looks forward to her time at the centre as the highlight of her week.

A friend says “Linda’s demeanour has certainly changed since attending the centre.  She looks happier and I think if she was not able to attend it would have a profound effect on her well-being and mental health”.

They’re now looking for people just like you to start a group for older people in and around Stockton.

It could be a social group playing games or arts and crafts, or a community gardening project in a lovely space. You could base it around a hobby or skill of your own, or just keep it simple and social. Volunteers are their lifeblood, and with your helping hands and a willingness to bring people together, they can reduce loneliness and give older people the opportunity to get involved and connected to their community. You too could bring smiles to faces this year.

To find out more, please contact:-

Julie Crocker – Community Development Worker (Royal Voluntary Service)

M: 07769 369250              E: julie.crocker@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk