Tuesday, 16 April 2024
Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Charity volunteer calls for befrienders to support the lonely

LEADING older people’s charity Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care’s (SCCCC) volunteer Andy Stubley appeals for befriending volunteers to spend an hour a week with an isolated older person in their own communities.

June sees the launch of Loneliness Awareness Week, and SCCCC has been running its flagship befriending service, the Good Neighbour Scheme, since 1966. Over the years they have recruited hundreds of volunteers to visit isolated or lonely older people in Sheffield on a regular basis for a cuppa and a chat.

But sadly the waiting list for the FREE befriending service has reached over 200 vulnerable people just waiting for a friend. With the highest number waiting in the S8 postcode area.

Now, Good Neighbour Volunteer Andy Stubley, who has been volunteering since November 2021, is calling for more volunteers to join him to help reduce loneliness amongst isolated people in Sheffield.

Andy said:

“I was fortunate enough to retire early and, having spent a year looking after my dying mother, found that I had some spare time, which I wanted to use in a productive way that was different from my IT experience. I chose SCCCC, as it was local to me and helped the vulnerable. The whole recruitment process was easy to understand and straightforward and I was soon visiting two gentlemen in their 80s, living in the S8 postcode. They both look forward to their weekly chats with me. I spend about 2hrs with each of them and chat mainly about their families, recent news events and sports.”

SCCCC’s Volunteer Coordinator, Lynn Smith said:

“The simple act of having a cuppa and a chat can have a huge impact on the health of an older person and can prevent hospital admissions and improve mental health issues. We are hoping that our call out for volunteers, particularly in the S8 area will help reduce loneliness and bring some joy and happiness back to their lives.”

Andy said:

“If you have a spare couple of hours a week and fancy doing some good in your local community, I would definitely recommend anyone to volunteer with SCCCC.  I found them to be very supportive and professional in the way that helps those in need. You’ve got nothing to lose and more importantly, you’d be helping someone who just needs some company. You may even find that you enjoy it.”

If you can spare an hour a week to visit a lonely older person in your community, please email: volunteer@scccc.co.uk or visit: www.scccc.co.uk to find out more.

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