Guild Care are celebrating its wonderful volunteers across its many community services and charity shops during Volunteers’ Week 2024. This year, the celebrations start on Monday 3rd June, marking 40 years of Volunteers’ Week in the UK. 

It’s an annual reminder of the valuable contribution made by millions of people across the UK through volunteering in their local communities. 

Elizabeth Lang, Volunteers Manager at Guild Care, said, “On behalf of the charity, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our amazing volunteers. They really are the backbone that ensures we can provide our valued community services. It’s thanks to volunteers like our drivers who help people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access our services, befrienders helping to reduce loneliness & social isolation, and those valuable volunteers who help people after a stay in hospital to get back on their feet.”

Along with driving, befriending, and support at home after hospital, Guild Care welcomes volunteers to help at their various retail shops, services and daily Creating Connections activities that are designed to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation in people aged 65 and over. Special skills to help with sessions are welcome, but equally valued is a smile and the ability to make lots of cups of tea, as many of Guild Care’s volunteers have discovered: 

Gemma, Support At Home After Hospital Volunteer

“You can easily fritter away an hour or two on the phone and I thought there must be a better use of my time. Volunteering makes you feel good, especially when you help people get back on their feet. People may not have family nearby and it’s nice for them to feel like a person not a patient. If you’re thinking of volunteering, just take the first step - send that email. Guild Care will guide you through the rest. You get so much back from volunteering. It’s like that feeling after exercise, it gives you a lift, buoys you up. Kindness really is contagious.”

Pamela, Volunteer Minibus Driver

“I wanted to do something not just for myself. My advice is just to go for it, you get so much out of it. Lots of people say that when you retire, you’re too busy to do anything. So just fit in a slot to do volunteering for an hour or two and work your social life around that. I sometimes put myself down to volunteer at special events as well. Last year I helped with a teddy bear stall which was great fun.”

Sandra, Volunteer Befriender

“Volunteering with Guild Care has been an incredibly rewarding and fun experience. The highlight of has been the wonderful relationship I've built with the individual I befriend. We have a weekly chess game, and it has become a special time for both of us. Not only does he look forward to our matches, but I also have a lot of fun playing. He is a great mentor as my chess skills have improved quite a lot! Anyone considering volunteering as a befriender should go for it! Be open, kind, and ready to have fun. You'll make a real difference in someone’s life while having a great time yourself.”

Guild Care is also hosting a picnic for all their volunteers to celebrate Volunteers’ Week as a way to say ‘thank you’ and bring everyone together in a relaxed environment where they can meet and catch up on their different volunteering experiences. 

Elizabeth added, “We’d also love to hear from anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer – you really can make an incredible difference to someone’s life, and we hope you enjoy the experience too. There’s a lot of positive benefits our volunteers find. This Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity to try out a new role, even if it’s just for an hour a week. We’ll try and find the role that would suit you best, so come and join the team!”

If you’re interested in volunteering, take the first step by getting in touch with the friendly volunteer team at Guild Care on [email protected] or call them on 01903 600602.

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