"It is absolutely rewarding. I just spend one morning a week, but I come away always feeling fulfilled"
As little as one hour each week can provide an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for both the volunteer and the older person being visited. Some volunteers visit the same resident each week, others are led by the staff as to who might like a visit and a chat.
We are looking for friendly, caring and compassionate people.
We work in community areas so that recruitment is locally-based.
We ensure that all necessary checks are undertaken and each individual volunteer is agreed with the care home.
We make certain that volunteers will benefit from and commit to our training programme and are prepared to volunteer regularly.
No previous experience is required.
Our training programme ensures that volunteers have the information and support needed to visit people in care homes and includes the following topics:
Social, physical, emotional communication needs of older people; dementia; meaningful activities; adopting a person-centred approach; health and safety; confidentiality; safeguarding.
These topics will be covered over 2 training sessions which will be followed by an orientation visit to the home before the first care home visit is arranged.
We enter into an agreement with each care home so that our roles are clearly defined. When placing volunteers we work closely with individual care homes to take into account their particular practices and values (not all care homes are the same!).
We bear in mind the skills and interests of volunteers and match them to the needs of the home and the residents.
We support the care home manager, activities coordinators and volunteer coordinators in the management of our volunteers and commit to a regular visit to care homes.
Our on-going support for volunteers and care homes continues after the training period.
Our staff will contact care homes on a regular basis to ensure that all is progressing well.
We have regular ‘get-togethers’ for each cohort of volunteers where we can celebrate good practice and long service, and can continue to learn from each other’s experiences.
We involve experienced volunteers in the training of new groups of volunteers.