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Why volunteer?

Volunteering in a care home offers a myriad of benefits, both for the individuals receiving care and for the 
volunteers themselves. Beyond the satisfaction of contributing to the wellbeing of others, volunteering in a care home provides invaluable opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and social connection. 
Engaging in meaningful activities with residents fosters empathy, patience, and understanding, while also  enhancing communication and interpersonal skills. Moreover, the sense of fulfilment derived from making a positive impact in the lives of elderly individuals can significantly boost one's mental and emotional wellbeing. volunteers not only enrich the lives of care home residents but also experience profound enrichment in their own lives.

What does volunteering involve?

As a volunteer you will be interacting with residents, talking to people and helping with activities around the home. Volunteers can help out in lots of different ways including driving the minibus on outings, helping support the staff with indoor and outdoor activities such as arts and crafts and gardening, providing some essential companionship to those who need it or if you are musical, you could even perhaps perform a tune or two to entertain the residents. 
As a volunteer your main role be helping keep people happy, stimulated and entertained. 

Who can volunteer?

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Anyone can volunteer, you just need to enjoy spending time around older people and have an abundance of patience and kindness. A sense of humour and willingness to get involved will help to!

Do I need to be a certain age to volunteer?

No, volunteers of all ages are very welcome. Sometimes volunteers have had relatives living at the home and have continued to visit and be involved in life at the home after their loved one has passed away. Others are retired people who live locally to one of our homes and are looking to share their hobbies and interests in a positive way. Other volunteers may be those looking for work experience in a care environment before returning or starting work. 

Volunteers under 16yrs will need to be accompanied by an adult but are still able to help out, entertain or simply chat with residents. We always welcome young people who can play a musical instrument to come and entertain residents, they don’t need to be concert performance standard. Music can be a great diversion for people and has been proven to have many beneficial effects on people living with dementia.

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What will I be doing as a volunteer?

You don’t need to have any special skills to volunteer but if you have hobbies or interests that you can share with people then that will be welcome. In the summer months, residents often enjoy gardening so helping with planting, watering and sowing seeds is a common request. An extra pair of hands to help out on a day trip is always very welcome, you may get to visit local places of interest too, many places offer free entry to care staff and volunteers. At other times you may simply be asked to chat to residents who don’t receive many visitors, providing company and companionship is just as valuable as a specific activity.

How much time will I need to commit?

It’s up to you, volunteers at our care homes may come in just once a week for a couple of hours or a few times a week for longer periods. You can choose the commitment that fits in best for you, but rest assured that any help and support will be very welcome.

How do I cope with residents who are living with dementia, how will I know what to say?

Our care staff will guide you and give you advice on how to interact with specific residents, especially those that may be exhibiting challenging or distressed behaviour. You won’t be left to deal with any situation alone so always ask staff if you’re not sure about anything.

Patience is the key when interacting with anyone who is living with dementia, be prepared for someone who you had a long chat with on your first visit to not recognise you again on your second, or to have the exact same conversation all over again. As you get to know people, you’ll find out what they like to talk about, go with the flow and let them lead the conversation. If you’re not sure what to say comment on the weather or items around the home, you’ll find something to chat about quite quickly. It’s also fine to be quiet and just sit and provide companionship, some people feel comforted by the presence of someone sitting close to them, especially if their sight or hearing is impaired.

Do I need DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check to volunteer?

As a health and social care provider registered with the CQC we are responsible for carrying out DBS checks on all our staff. As a volunteer you would be required to complete an online check which is very quick and simple to complete. 

Do I need any care qualifications to volunteer?

No, you don’t need to have any care qualifications if you’re doing non-care related tasks such as gardening, crafts or accompanying people on day trips. If you are considering a career in care, volunteering can be a great way to find out whether working in health and social care is the right path for you and will give you first-hand insight into what different job roles in care involve.

I would like to volunteer, what do I do next?

If you’d like to get involved or find out more use this contact us link and send us an email.

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