As part of Volunteers Week (1-7 June), we celebrated our volunteers in the Woking area by treating them to a ‘thank you’ high tea at the Bradbury Centre on Tuesday 6 June.
Volunteers were served with sandwiches, fruit and cakes, and were presented with certificates and ‘thank you’ chocolates (in the shape of bottles of champagne). There was a hamper raffle and the event was attended by Friends of the Elderly staff and some of the local older people we work with.
Our Community Partnerships Manager Sally McLachlan said: “Volunteers’ Week is an excellent opportunity for organisations to come together and collectively thank all the wonderful people who give up their time to support others. Here at Friends of the Elderly, our volunteers are integral to delivering our free to access services and complementing the care services we offer, which can be a lifeline to older people who have become lonely or isolated.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them. Volunteers Week is one week dedicated to celebrating volunteers, but we know how important it is to thank our supporters all year round and make sure they feel part of our dedicated staff team.”
The Bradbury Centre is home to Triangle Day Care Woking and Triangle Home Care Woking – part of the Friends of the Elderly Group – which offer a range of services to the community. It is also the centre of operations for Visiting Friends, the volunteer home visiting service operating in the Surrey area. Visiting Friends steps in when an older person’s family and friends are not around – volunteers pop by regularly to visit them, taking time to listen to them and share life’s ups and downs.
Eun-Hyoung has helped out at the monthly coffee mornings organised by Visiting Friends for 11 months. Eun-Hyoung says: “I’ve got to know all the older people, and I love hearing about their families and their stories. I do it as much for me as for them, and it’s really rewarding to have been able to find a volunteering opportunity like this which fits in with my other commitments.”
Hannah, 14, and Emily, 13, are volunteers at our Bernard Sunley care home, which is also in the Woking area. They began visiting residents weekly as part of working towards their Duke of Edinburgh bronze award, but after completing the required number of volunteering hours, they have continued to visit.
Hannah says: “I enjoy volunteering with the residents at Bernard Sunley because it makes me feel happy to see that from taking an hour out of my time I can improve the lives of others and make them happier.”
Emily says: “It’s just an hour of my time a week, but it makes a big difference, both to the older people and to me – I’ve learned a lot from them”.
If you’re interested in volunteering with us in the Woking area, check out our current opportunities.