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.
Natalie is a call companion call and companion coordinator.
Why did you decide to become a Re-engage volunteer?
I was first introduced to Re-engage as a tea party host by a friend who was hosting tea parties herself. When Covid hit, tea parties had to be suspended and so I volunteered as a call companion, and then call companion co-ordinator. I'd lost my job and wanted to direct my spare time towards something where I could help others feel better about themselves.
What does your role involve?
I make two weekly calls and the ladies I speak to are so lovely. We chat about old times, the news and anything that has happened in our week. I love hearing about everything from the dances they used to go to, and the clothes they wore, to stories about their children and grandchildren.
As for the call companion co-ordinator side, I love it! I get to speak to so many people and I enjoy hearing how their calls are going. We are the only contact that some of our service users have every week.
What’s the best thing about being a volunteer for Re-engage?
I love hearing the light in the voices of the older people I ring when they realise it’s me on the end of the phone. Knowing we make such a difference to their week, and their mood, is just wonderful. I can’t begin to explain how this makes me feel as a call companion.
What makes you get out of bed every morning?
My family. My children and husband are everything to me. They keep me motivated, energised and extremely busy. The house is always alive with laughter and craft projects, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have a Favourite saying or quote?
"Every cloud has a silver lining."
This has kept me going, especially over the past year, when it has been tough. No matter how bad it is, or has been, we know brighter and better times are coming.
What do you say to anyone who is thinking of becoming a volunteer?
Please don’t hesitate, it only takes an hour a week and it’s heart-warming to know you are making a difference to someone’s day. I feel like I have made a friend who I have known all my life.
It’s had a positive effect on me, and the other callers and it’s taken our minds off other things when times have been tough. Laughter really is the best medicine!
'Isolation is seen by LGBT+ older people as the price they have to pay'
By Re-engage CEO, Meryl Davies
By Meryl Davies, CEO
Meet 88-year-old Lionel, one of our call companion coordinators
During Volunteers' Week we're celebrating our volunteers. Meet Lionel, one of our call companion coordinators.