This Volunteers’ Week, we shine a light on our younger volunteers. According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the 25-34 age group is the one least likely to volunteer.

So it seems here at Re-engage we are bucking the trend somewhat.

In 2021, nearly one in four of our new call companion volunteers were under thirty. And even when our tea parties began to revive last year – so attracting more older hosts and drivers – we still managed to attract younger people – one in six overall – to help with our social activities.

Marketing and PR executive Ella Cunningham, 27, pictured, who has been a call companion to 90-year-old Dorothy since last October, explains why she thinks it’s so important to bring generations together.

“Dorothy is blind and rarely gets out so she relies on my regular calls. And I love making them because I learn so much from her.

“When I was 18, I worked in a care home looking after older people and I really enjoyed it. The daily contact with them was a two-way benefit because I gained a lot of life lessons from them.

“I am very close to my grandparents and I’m very passionate about seeing older people as individuals. I missed the care work which is why I volunteer for Re-engage, so I can keep some kind of contact with older people. I’m sure more younger people would volunteer if they realised the benefits to both parties.”

Molly Baker, a 20-year-old psychology student at Liverpool University, is also a call companion and has been matched with 79-year-old Kevin.

“We have a nice relationship. Kevin sings me Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash tunes and I explain the latest fads, like Tik Tok. We both love music and get on very well.

“I think it’s just a great idea to have younger people calling someone who’s older and may be lonely. You don’t always get the opportunity to mix across generations.

“I would hate it if my grandparents had no one to talk to and that drives me to be a call companion.

“People are very busy with all kinds of things these days and sometimes it can feel that time just slips away. But giving up an hour or two to brighten an older person’s day is always worthwhile.”

A huge thank you to all our volunteers, and especially to our younger volunteers. We know our older people value your time and friendship enormously, as one of our older call companions tells us:

"My caller I feel is 'my friend' although she is young and I am old. I look forward to our conversation by phone every week. We don't talk about personal stuff, just what we have done in the last week. It is lovely to share."

Contact us

We have teams across the UK.


7 Bell Yard


0800 716543

Office phone:

020 7240 0630