Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

Volunteer Spotlight: Inspirational Commitment to Supporting the Elderly

JANE Spence is a dedicated volunteer at the local charity, Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC), she epitomises the true spirit of Audrey Hepburn’s timeless quote: ‘As you get older, remember you have two hands: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.’

Since June 2023, Jane has been a steadfast companion to Julie W, a 93-year-old resident at a local care home and member of the Good Neighbours Scheme.

Jane’s journey into volunteering was inspired by a desire to make a difference after witnessing the growing needs of elderly individuals, including her relatives, who require increased support and care. Her husband, Martin, introduced her to SCCCC after attending a presentation by Ericka Hill, the organisation’s dynamic Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications Officer. Jane’s background as a primary school teacher has provided her with a natural affinity for connecting with people of all ages, making her transition into volunteering a seamless and heartfelt choice.

Jane shared:

“At SCCCC, I received exceptional support during the induction process. My coordinator ensured I was well-prepared for my role, and together, we identified Julie as a suitable match for my companionship visits.”

Despite Julie’s communication challenges due to encephalitis, Jane has established a meaningful connection by sharing common interests, such as their mutual love for outdoor activities and family conversations. Jane’s commitment extends beyond routine visits; she utilises innovative techniques, like visual aids and photos, to facilitate engaging interactions with Julie.

Reflecting on the impact of Jane’s visits, Julie’s daughter, Sue, expressed profound gratitude, she said:

“Getting to know Jane has made an amazing difference to Mum’s morale. She looks forward to Jane’s weekly visits, which have significantly lifted her spirits.”

SCCCC’s diligent support ensures that Jane’s volunteer experience is both enriching and impactful. Regular check-ins and thoughtful coordination contribute to a positive environment for both Julie and Jane.

Jane’s story exemplifies the invaluable role volunteers play in enhancing the well-being of elderly individuals within our communities. Through her compassionate efforts, she embodies the spirit of Audrey Hepburn’s message, inspiring others to lend a helping hand to those in need.

The charity currently has a waiting list of isolated older people waiting for a volunteer like Jane. For more information on volunteering opportunities or to support SCCCC’s initiatives, please visit: www.scccc.co.uk/volunteer.

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