To mark Volunteers’ Week, the Friends of the Elderly Engagement Hub threw a celebratory lunch to thank its Football Friends and Hub volunteers. The lunch was attended by five Football Friends and two Hub volunteers.
The group enjoyed a buffet lunch and a friendly, but competitive, quiz before the volunteers were awarded with certificates to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the charity.
Lois Walters, Engagement Hub Team Leader, said: “Volunteers’ Week has been the perfect opportunity for us to thank our Engagement Hub volunteers. We really couldn’t do what we do without them. This is just a small way we can show our gratitude for their work helping us to support older people and it was brilliant to get them all together socially – we had lots of giggles too.”
One particular volunteer, Katerina, has been volunteering for Friends of the Elderly for an incredible 16 years. Once or twice a month she visits our Ebury Street office to write handmade birthday cards for clients who receive our charitable services. In the 16 years she has been with us she has written thousands upon thousands of cards. We asked Katerina why she started volunteering with us and what it means to her: “I moved to the UK from Greece in 2002. Being in a new country, not knowing anyone and with good academic but not colloquial English, I found it hard to socialise and meet new people. I really wanted company for myself. My Father-in-Law was on the board of Help the Aged in India and was acquainted with the then director of Friends of the Elderly. He suggested that I look in to volunteering with the charity and introduced me – the rest is history! In Greece we don’t tend to celebrate birthdays like here in the UK but I have seen over the years just how symbolic it is for older people to receive these beautiful handmade cards. It makes them feel connected with society, part of a community and ultimately to feel special on their birthday. It makes me feel so happy that I can bring them this joy.”