During Volunteers' Week, we’re catching up with some of our volunteers to hear about their experiences of volunteering for Re-engage and what makes them tick.
Lucy has volunteered for Re-engage for seven years and is a tea party coordinator for the Cottingham Group.
Why did you decide to become a Re-engage volunteer?
I was very conscious that there are many older people living within our community who don't have the support of family and friends, and that loneliness is a real issue for them.
I was very close to my grandparents, and my grandma became very lonely towards the end of her life. She lived in Seaford and I live in Hull, so our only contact was via telephone, or when I visited family in Sussex.
It would have been nice if there had been a tea party group near her. I felt that by volunteering for Re-engage, I'd be helping someone else’s grandparent.
What does your role involve?
As the tea party coordinator for the Cottingham Group, I am responsible for recruiting volunteer drivers and tea party hosts, keeping in touch with all the volunteers and confirming dates and arrangements for tea parties. I ensure that our guests receive birthday and Christmas gifts and that our volunteer drivers receive Christmas gifts as a thank you for their support.
During Covid, when it's been safe to do so, I've arranged socially-distanced visits to deliver plates of tea to our guests, with the help of a couple of volunteers. At the start of the pandemic, I set up a ‘phone rota so that our guests have had regular contact from us.
What's the best thing about being a volunteer for Re-engage?
The ladies in our group are so grateful for everything we do for them. They are a delight to spend time with and we have some very entertaining and interesting conversations. It's nice to feel that we are bringing a little joy to their lives and offering help if they need it.
What makes you get out of bed every morning?
The fact that I can! It’s not so easy for many people. Also, the prospect of a new day and what may be in store for me. If the sun is shining and the birds are singing, that helps too.
Do you have a favourite saying or quote that you live by?
"Live each day as if it were your last and have no regrets."
What do would you say to anyone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer?
Go for it! We need to treasure and care for our elderly population; they really do appreciate us.
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