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Supporting the campaign to end loneliness

Swapping snow for California sunshine

A chance to celebrate your unsung heroes

Issue, p6

News, p4

Impact, p8

£ 1.4 million gifted to NHS Greater Glasgow

Former paratrooper lays wreath for WRVS

Volunteer Robert Cowan laid a Remembrance Day wreath on behalf of WRVS at George Square, Glasgow, last November. Robert, 72, is a former paratrooper and a member of the Parachute Regiment Association. He has volunteered for over eight years, giving up lots of his spare time for WRVS in Old Kilpatrick and Clydebank, delivering Meals on Wheels and helping to run the lunch club. Lynne Berry and NHS Greater Glasgow Chairman Andrew Robertson with the record breaking cheque


n January, we presented NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with a cheque for £1.4million, the largest amount given in the history of WRVS. The money was handed over at the Ebenezer Duncan Centre at the Victoria Infirmary, and is the accumulation of profits from our services across hospitals in the Health Board area. “This is a wonderful gesture from WRVS,” says Andrew Robertson, Chairman of NHS

Greater Glasgow and Clyde. “I’m particularly pleased so many volunteers came to the cheque ceremony because they deserve recognition for the fundraising and behind the scenes work that they do.” Biggest ever donation The money will be invested across the hospitals in the area to provide ‘extras’, such as digital TV, as well as upgrading existing WRVS units in the Royal

Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Southern General Maternity and Gartnavel General Hospital, among others. “We are absolutely delighted to present such an enormous amount of money to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde,” says Chief Executive Lynne Berry. “This is the biggest amount of money we have ever presented, and is a fantastic reflection of the amount of effort put in by our volunteers and staff.”

Perth and Kinross services need you Lots of exciting volunteering opportunities are now on offer across Perth and Kinross, from Glenshee to Comrie, and from Kinross to Inchture – so why not try something different? We need volunteers for our café, shop and ward trolley at Perth Royal Infirmary, as well as volunteer drivers, Good Neighbours volunteers and Outcome Co-ordinators. Call 01738 633975 to find out more.


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Spring 2011

CONTENTS 1-4 Scottish news 5 National news 6-7 Issue: Tackling loneliness 8-9 Impact: Why older people are so important to our communities 11 Our work 13 Take two volunteers 14 National news 15 A day in the life 16 Get in touch

welcome “We’ve been doing plenty of listening, learning and sharing”


t’s been a busy few months in Scotland. We’ve been hearing from volunteers, service users and staff about how work should develop. We’ve been doing plenty of listening, learning and sharing, making Scotland a great place to grow old. We now have Volunteer Partners working alongside me and the Service Delivery Managers, to ensure volunteers’ views are central in wider decision-making. They’ll be out and about in the region in the coming months, talking to you about developments in WRVS and Scotland. They will be keen to hear your views and ideas so let them know what you think, and if you would like to find out how to become a Volunteer Partner, be sure to contact your Service Delivery Manager (or see page 12 for further details). Margaret Paterson, Head of Services Scotland


your letters We’ve been overwhelmed with your positive response to the new action. Thank you for your comments, a selection of which are below.

Our new look

by the seaside because she would go out and not be able to find her I enjoyed reading the new style way home. My motto is dignity action and particularly like the and respect for the elderly. local news items. The layout is I have been with the WRVS attractive and the articles are of since I was 20 and I’m 62 now. interest to younger and older I volunteer with Thanet Good volunteers. I have passed on the Neighbour Scheme. newspaper to my mum (aged 90) Kathy Carr, Kent who also enjoys reading it. Pamela Harrington, Luton Remembering Just wanted to say I think the new format is great – the previous one was interesting but so big that I put it in a pile to read when I had time, but never got to it. This is about the right size and well laid out. Well done! Caroline Groves, Beaconsfield What a wonderfully interesting and much better newspaper WRVS action is now, and so much easier for partially sighted people like me to read. Excellent job. Patricia Richardson, Chester Just a line to say that we think the new look newspaper is bright, interesting and clear. My husband and I help at the Beaumaris Lunch Club and we enjoyed reading right through the new issue. Margaret Lowe, Isle of Anglesey


I wonder if any of your readers in Kent might remember my dear old friend Marion Astly. I first met Marion in 1958 at her home in Barnehurst and she was like a family member to me until her death at the age of 96 in 1992. Marion, who, among her many accomplishments worked as a suffragette, did a lot of her own wonderful charity work before, during and after the war. I understand that she was offered an MBE but, since she felt it might be assumed to be a reward, she declined it. She introduced me to WVS work in 1958 and I remained as a working member until forced to retire just a few years ago. Jill Farquhar, Renfrewshire

Dignity in dementia I think the new look action is great. I particularly enjoyed the article on dementia. I used to take a lady called Pam out for picnics and walks Volunteer and action reader Greta Borgognoni from Peterborough

Want to tell us about your good work? Write to us (enclosing pictures for news stories): action Scotland, WRVS Cardiff Gate, Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff CF23 8RP email us:

The WRVS vision is a world where every older person has the opportunity and choice to get more out of life

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Spring 2011

PEOPLE supertea m

Perth Resilience & Recovery Team

Perth and Kinross volunteers helped 669 stranded passengers and drivers from the M90, A1 and A90 during one of the worst nights this winter. There was only a small team of Resilience and Recovery volunteers, and although many more were willing to help, the deep, sudden snowfall made it impossible for them to move. “I am so proud to have such a dedicated team of willing volunteers in Perth,” says Service Delivery Manager Josephine Mills. Know a superteam? Get in touch


hero 4


youSAY say My funny moment “Jumping up and down, waving a towel over the toaster so that it doesn’t set the fire alarm off after someone burned the toast. We were getting a bit of a reputation for setting the alarm off when we first opened the café. It’s all under control now!” Karen Blyth, Scotland “The funniest thing I can recall is when volunteering one afternoon at the social club we realised there was a banging sound. A lady was stuck in the toilet and banging on the door for help. She’d been trying to open it the wrong way. We soon helped her out.” Allan Freer, Herefordshire

Helen Bonar proudly displays her Supercounty Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the event sponsors and North Lanarkshire Provost Tom Curley

Helen Bonar


ongstanding volunteer Helen Bonar won the Supercounty Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010. The award recognises

her contribution to the community, including over 49 years of involvement with WRVS. Helen was given the award at the Champions Awards Ceremony in Lanarkshire, which pays tribute to ‘Unsung Heroes’. “I was very surprised to learn I had been nominated

for this award – very surprised and very proud,” Helen says. “My family is very proud as well.” If you know someone special who should be the next Local Hero, then please let us know. See page 16 for contact details

“When I first started as a driver for WRVS I asked fellow volunteer Ann if I would have to dress as a woman to join. ‘You can if you want,’ she answered. I judge folk by their ability to handle my impudence, and Ann passed the test.” Andy Neustein, Scotland Next issue’s question: Who or what inspired you to become a volunteer? Send or email your answer, name, photo and details to the address on page 16

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Spring 2011


Parliamentary reception California dreaming EDINBURGH


The Borders volunteers arrive at Holyrood’s Scottish Parliament building to attend a special reception BORDERS


olunteers from Borders General Hospital attended a special reception at the Scottish Parliament in recognition of their contribution to health. Around 40 volunteers attended the evening event at Holyrood, hosted by the Tweeddale, Etrick and Lauderdale MSP Jeremy Purvis.

Snap happy

Would you like to see your photographs appearing in action? We are on the lookout for keen photographers right across the country who are willing to take photographs that will appear in the newspaper. If you are interested, please contact us at

Afterwards Mr Purvis gave the Borders volunteers a tour of the parliament building, telling them how proud he is to represent an area where the community make such a large contribution through volunteering. “I was so pleased to be able to invite the volunteers to celebrate their contribution,”

says Mr Purvis. “The difference they make in hospital and community services is tremendous and I know Borders General Hospital is very lucky to have so many hard-working and dedicated volunteers. “I look forward to continuing to support WRVS in all it does and, on behalf of constituents, I give it my thanks.”

wapping Scottish snow for Californian sunshine, Edinburgh Meals on Wheels volunteer Moira Dunworth enjoyed something of a busman’s holiday when she went on a house and job exchange. Moira jetted off in December to meet Deanna Epley in Southern California, joining her on her Meals on Wheels round for a day. The next morning Deanna flew to Edinburgh and returned the compliment by helping out at the café in Western General Hospital. “The centre I worked at in California was very new and had a dance room, a gym, a computer room and – wait for it – a travel agency! It also had a café, a library and indoor and outdoor seating areas. It’s all run by a not-for-profit organisation and there’s a huge appetite for supporting ‘elders’ in the community,” says Moira.

Over 60s club celebrates 25th anniversary Balintore Seaboard Over 60’s club celebrated their silver jubilee recently. As part of the celebration they presented Diane Hawksey with a specially commissioned plate as a memento. Diane managed the service until Irene MacDonald took the reins earlier this year.

Stephen’s friends raise money Donations given at the funeral last autumn of Service Delivery Manager Stephen McIlroy raised £795 for WRVS. The amount raised will go towards developing services in Stephen’s area of Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders. Thanks to all those who attended the funeral and kindly donated money. It is greatly appreciated.

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Spring 2011

NATIONAL NEWS nationwide

New volunteer opportunities phone 0845 601 4670

New WRVS Outcome Co-ordinators in place Our aim to put older people at the heart of what we do takes a big step forward ORGANISATION


n the last edition of action we told you how we planned to put older people at the heart of what we do (pages 6-7 of Winter 2010 issue). That work is now underway, and in the first of our new hubs in Pembrokeshire and Staffordshire a number of Outcome Co-ordinators have been recruited and trained to ensure that those we support get all the personally tailored help they need. Conversations “The Outcome Co-ordinators who were trained earlier this year have gone out and had conversations with the older people they help,” says Pembrokeshire Locality Manager Susan Meister, “and I have another eight people about to undergo the training.”



By the end of March 2012, 29 locations across the country will have put hubs in place


By the end of March 2014, 200 locations will have adopted the new way of working


Services will continue to have the unique WRVS factor, powered by volunteers

“One of the co-ordinators saw a lady who, although not elderly, has a complicated set of problems and is very fragile. We have since managed to allocate a ‘befriender’ to her and we’ve been in touch with the Royal British Legion to sort out her house, which is in a poor state of repair.” Providing advice In Staffordshire, Locality Manager Nigel Edwards is also seeing the benefits of the new way of working. “I am really pleased with the way we have started,” he says. “Our Outcome Co-ordinators are already visiting people in their homes to provide advice on how WRVS can help and direct them to services that can make a massive difference to their lives.”

Volunteer Pauline Waters from Kettering General Hospital appeared on BBC Radio Northampton ... Staff and volunteers at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, WRVS coffee shop presented the hospital with £12,500 … In December, longservice medals were presented to Annice Waddell and Margaret Hill at Alnwick Stroke Club … The WRVS café at the Royal Bolton Hospital has joined forces with the NHS Trust to promote healthy eating. In January the café removed all products with high fat and high sugar content from the shelves … Maidenhead’s WRVS Centre held a very popular open day in the autumn … The Cornwall Meals on Wheels team got together for a tea party, where they shared stories and renewed acquaintances … Volunteers working at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff have been presented with a silver Welsh food hygiene award … The Inkberrow Over 60s Sunshine Club in Worcestershire has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary …… January was a record month for gifting. £1.4 million was given in Glasgow, while in Sheffield the Rt Hon David Blunkett (below) joined WRVS volunteers to hand over a cheque for £1 million

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Issue: Loneliness WRVS is at the forefront of a campaign to end loneliness

You don’t have to be alone “A

bout two years ago my wife passed away,” remembers Roland Lacquiere, who volunteers for us in the East of England. “Because we’d come into contact with WRVS volunteers during her illness, volunteering seemed like something I should consider doing.” Roland was as good as his word. “I began by driving people to their appointments and carrying out home visits,” he explains. “I am 70 and retired, and I felt I needed to do something that would get me out of the house and help me meet other people.” According to a survey that we conducted in Scotland, loneliness is the greatest fear for older Scots – and that’s a view that is echoed across the UK. Together with four other organisations, WRVS is taking action by launching the Campaign to End Loneliness. “The problems of loneliness and isolation need to be put on an equal footing with any other condition associated with ageing,” says Laura Ferguson, Director of the Campaign. “Ending loneliness should be part of the solution to the challenge of reforming care and support.”

Our impact 96% of those who take part in the

WRVS social and lunch clubs feel more involved in their community as a result 86% of those who receive home support feel less isolated 45% feel more confident as a result of WRVS combined services Source: WRVS Social Impact Research, March 2010

For Roland, volunteering has allowed him to help others tackling feelings of loneliness. “You really need to be able to listen to people,” he believes. “For example, one of the ladies I visit has cancer, and at times it can be extremely tough for her. She talks about how lonely she is. Understanding how this feels and being able to talk to her about it is really important.”

WRVS is at the forefront of the campaign to end loneliness and our initiatives, such as Good Neighbours and lunch and social clubs, are designed to reach out to older people and ensure that they are given the opportunity to spend time with others. In the course of getting to know the people he supports, Roland has struck up some great friendships. “People are very good,” he says. “I might take someone out to the

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The Campaign to End Loneliness WRVS has joined forces to fight isolation and loneliness in older people. The Campaign to End Loneliness has been launched by WRVS, Independent Age, Age UK Oxfordshire, Counsel and Care. It is funded by the international charitable organisation the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. “Loneliness is something which affects us all,” says Andrew Barnett, Director of the Foundation, “but older people are particularly vulnerable to becoming isolated, through loss of friends and family, loss of mobility or reduction in income. “We need to consider not just the practical but the emotional and psychological implications of growing numbers of older people within our communities.” To find out more go online at

supermarket, and then they ask me in to have a cup of tea with them. We spend the time chatting and end up talking about all sorts of things – our families, going out dancing, programmes on television – anything really.” It’s good to talk As Roland recognises, good conversation on a regular basis, regardless of the subject matter, is invaluable in helping someone feel less isolated. Being able to get out of the house also helps to reduce

loneliness. 87-year old Marthe Andrews, who uses WRVS Good Neighbours services in Perthshire, agrees with this view.

“Working as a volunteer has made me realise that I am not alone” “You don’t want to be within your four walls for seven days a week,” she says. “You do feel better when you come back

and you have been amongst people, there’s no doubt about that.” Roland adds that “I’d recommend WRVS services to any older person who might be feeling lonely.” As well as being able to see the positive effect his work creates for others, Roland is well aware of the benefits he himself has gained from volunteering. “I will continue to volunteer for as long as I can,” he says, “and I also want to arrange some social events, where some of the people I have met can get together.”

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CAMPAIGN Our new campaign gives you a golden opportunity to celebrate older people who are making a difference in your community

A positive view of older people I

n March we launched a new campaign that looks at the contribution older people make to our society. As part of that campaign, we have published some research that challenges the assumption that older people are a drain on the country’s economic resources. As our WRVS Gold Age Pensioners report reveals, the contribution made by people over the age of 65 significantly exceeds the costs of supporting them. In fact, the report suggests that in 2010 the net contribution made by older people to society (meaning the amount after the cost of supporting them has been taken into account) was around £40 billion. What’s more, this is expected to grow to around £77 billion over the next 20 years. And it’s not only the economy that is benefiting. As many of you will know, older

people, whether volunteering with WRVS or getting involved in neighbourhood organisations, are making a big contribution to our communities every single day. The report estimates that older people currently provide volunteering services worth around £10 billion per year.

Gold Age Pensioners

Allowing negative assumptions about being old to go unchallenged can bring about a lack of confidence and create divisions between generations. That’s why we are tackling this issue head on. The WRVS Gold Age Pensioner report is designed to create a debate by putting a value on older people’s overall contribution to society. We want to change some opinions, give older people a voice, encourage

more people to volunteer and support a change in government policy in respect of provision for older people. This campaign is all about making Britain a place that has a positive view of older people and values the contribution that they make. In short, it’s about making Britain a great place to grow old. As our campaign continues, we want to focus on real people and the very real impact they have on our society. In the summer we will publish a list of the 66 most influential and successful people aged over 66. The list will recognise individuals for the extraordinary contributions they continue to make. It will include people in the public eye from a range of areas, including science, business, the arts and show business.

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Spring 2011

This campaign is all about making Britain a place that has a positive view of older people and values the contribution that they make

We need your help Nominate an older person who makes an outstanding contribution in your community

66 over 66 – your unsung hero Your name ........................................................................................................................... Your address ........................................................................................................................ Your contact number .......................................................................................................... Your email address (if applicable) ...................................................................................... The name of the person you are nominating .................................................................... Their age (they must be over 66) ........................................................................................ In no more than 150 words, please tell us why you’d like to nominate the person listed above, including any volunteering activities that they are regularly involved in: .............................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................................. ..............................................................................................................................................

We also want to hear about those unsung heroes – and that’s where you come in. We want you to nominate the older people you know who make contributions that should be celebrated. They could be WRVS volunteers involved in local activities, or colleagues who also have a big impact on their community. A panel of experts will come together in the summer and judge your nominations, alongside those in the public eye, to create our final list of the 66 most influential people over the age of 66. So if there’s an unsung hero in your area then tell us about them by filling out the form. All we need to know is who they are and why you want to recognise them. What better way to say thank you! Read more about the report at


When you have completed the form, please cut it out and post it to: Nicola Forsyth, WRVS c/o Blue Rubicon, 5th Floor, 6 More London, SE1 2DA

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Spring 2011

Raising the standards

All about you

in Volunteers (IiV) is all We’re going for two awards and you Investing about celebrating you and the work that you do for us. It’s also about making can help us achieve those goals sure you know about the full range of


ver the coming months WRVS is going to try and win Investors in People (IiP) and Investing in Volunteers (IiV) awards. These two awards are only given to organisations that work to the highest standards. Trying to attain them will mean that all of us will have to take a look at what we already do and think about how we could do better. The way in which we work will be measured against the criteria set by the IiP and IiV standards and when we are able to match or exceed those criteria, we will secure the awards. This exercise is a way of helping us check that we are looking after everyone to the best of our ability. If through this we discover we are working to high standards, with high quality

support and services that are available to you as a volunteer. And it is about us improving services and making changes that need to be made. IiV has been the voluntary sector standard since 2002 and so far over 500 voluntary organisations have achieved the award. WRVS will be the biggest organisation yet to achieve IiV. We will be sending information to local managers and asking them to pass it on to you, to make sure you are kept fully informed. For us to achieve this award, it’s important you tell us where you think we could do things better. We’ll be out gathering views, so please let us have your thoughts.

systems in place to back them up, we can be assured that the people we work with are getting the best service available. Having these kinds of awards is also a great way for potential partner organisations to reassure themselves we take pride in the way we work, and in the people who volunteer and work with us.

34420 Cosyfeet AM0211:Layout 4



Friday 29 April 2011


Hold a Tea Party in celebration of the Royal Wedding William and Kate are getting married on 29 April 2011 and we thought a great way to celebrate would be to hold a Tea Party to raise funds for WRVS. Organising your Royal Wedding Celebration Tea Party is easy! Call our Supporter Care Team on 0845 607 6524 or email to request your Tea Party pack. All the money raised will go towards the work that WRVS does to help make Britain a great place to grow old!



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Spring 2011




our work

The mystery of meetings – solved I

was asked recently to write about my ‘behind the scenes work’ for WRVS. It struck me that what might be viewed as something rather mysterious by those of us within WRVS, is seen by people outside the organisation as something that puts WRVS in the spotlight.

“I showcase the superb work of our volunteers and staff ”

What good do meetings do? I spend a lot of time at meetings in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff with ministers and civil servants, chief executives from the NHS, and so on. What good do all these meetings do? Matthew Sowemimo, our new Head of Policy, also attends meetings with NHS commissioners and clinicians. He is there to advise as they try to improve the support for older people when they come out of hospital. Matthew said of a recent meeting, “It highlighted that things we spend every day thinking about are just not obvious to even committed people who are trying to improve the NHS.” Two clinicians said to him after one meeting, “We are pleased WRVS was here

because otherwise certain things would not have been said.” Matthew’s view is that if representatives from the voluntary sector aren’t involved in such meetings, then, “We may not even have the chance of improving provision for older people in large parts of the country.” Gathering support As well as informing policy, we also know that when I talk about our work it helps gather support for our ideas and develop our services. We are becoming better known – public recognition has gone up 200 per cent – though admittedly from a very low base. So, it’s not very mysterious what I do! I showcase the superb work of our volunteers and staff and talk about the implications for health and social care. As a result, our experience helps to make Britain a great place to grow old. Once again, thank you for all your hard work and dedication Lynne Berry, Chief Executive WRVS

behind the scenes WORK WEAR

Is purple the new black?

We are introducing a new range of work wear which includes a polo shirt, an apron and a fleece.

The range will give us a consistent look that should help our customers to recognise us. The clothes have already been tested by volunteers. We hope you like the new styles. PROMOTION

A tasty package for WRVS Pasty masters Ginsters are advertising WRVS for free on all of their Cornish pasties. Messages of support for WRVS have been printed on the cardboard drip trays of all Cornish pasties sold in January, April, September and December 2011. Ginsters sell approximately 1.8million of their pasties each and every week, and it’s been estimated that the advertising will be seen by a potential audience of 22 million.


Engelbert’s thanks


new WRVS volunteers in 2009-10 RECRUITMENT

Volunteer numbers rocket Applications to become a WRVS volunteer soared last year. By the end of December 2010 the number of applications had increased by 23 per cent, and in November that figure shot up by 40 per cent. We offer a warm welcome to our new volunteers and hope you are enjoying your experience with WRVS.

Please convey my personal thanks to all at WRVS for their fantastic efforts in gifting £100,000 for the new dementia care centre. Thank you for inviting me to the presentation. I’m sorry I was not able to make it. It is comforting to know that the people of Leicester, together with WRVS, have greatly contributed to hopefully creating a new centre at Leicester General Hospital A big, big thank you to all at WRVS. Engelbert Humperdinck, Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

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second guide to... Volunteer Partners What is a Volunteer Partner? They are WRVS volunteers appointed in each nation and region to work alongside the service delivery manager, helping them to talk with other volunteers and get them involved in our work. Why has this new role been created? As our services are carried out by you, the volunteer, we want to listen to your views and experiences and make sure they are taken into account as we grow and develop our work. This is particularly important in times of fast-moving change. What will the Volunteer Partners do? They’ll visit local services and listen to what volunteers have to say. They will get their views on certain topics, and provide updates on WRVS as a whole. If you’d like to know who your Volunteer Partner is, or if you’re interested in becoming a Volunteer Partner, please contact your service delivery manager (see back page for contact details)

Support the Big Lunch

National event brings communities together


e’re determined to make every community a great place to grow old, and that’s why we are getting behind the Big Lunch taking place on Sunday 5 June. The event, now in its third year, aims to get as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours once a year. Since the campaign launch in 2009, nearly a million Big Lunches have taken place. And while some of the Big Lunches have been intimate affairs, other communities have organised full blown street parties with bouncy castles and hog roasts.

what you can do

1 2

Tell your friends about the Big Lunch Follow the Big Lunch on Facebook (facebook. com/thebiglunch) and Twitter ( thebiglunch) Find people that want to run a Big Lunch and get them to sign up at Everyone that registers will receive a pack in the post to help them get started. Or why not organise your very own Big Lunch?


So why not find out if an event is happening in your area and bring an older person along with you? Or perhaps you can help organise an event that will include older people. Big Lunch events are also a great opportunity to spread our message and encourage others to become volunteers, so remember to bring along WRVS flyers or balloons.

join in

Why not celebrate National Volunteers Week from 1-7 June with a Big Lunch? Visit for more details. You can also contact your local service manager if you want to get hold of some WRVS flyers or balloons

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“Volunteering has given me a new lease of life” Colin Lowe from Bromsgrove and Roger Larke from Madley in Herefordshire are both WRVS volunteer drivers. One drives in predominantly rural areas, the other through towns and cities What’s your story? Call us on 029 2073 9066

Colin Lowe Why did you start volunteering? I’d worked since I was 12 years old and on my 65th birthday my company retired me. I was devastated. I ended up not leaving the house and it started to become an effort for me to get out of my armchair. My wife worked for the council and saw an advert saying WRVS was looking for volunteers, so I applied. I like to keep active and busy so volunteering has given me a new lease of life. Getting out and seeing people helps you to have a great old age. You never know, it could be me one day and I hope I get the same help. What is it like driving in a more urban area? The traffic can be bad, but the upside is that everywhere is quite near. What do you drive? The Community Transport Bus. What has been your most interesting experience? Giving a lady called Emma, who is blind, her independence back. Emma always says, “Colin, the longer the bus journey the better.”

Roger ‘The Hat’ Larke Why did you start volunteering? My wife became ill and I became her main carer. I started volunteering as a driver because I saw just how isolating it can be when you’re stuck at home. What is it like driving in a rural area? You tend to travel longer distances to get to places. I take some of the older people to hospital in Birmingham, which is 56 miles away, but if that’s where the consultants and specialist units are, then that’s where we go. What do you drive? I drive the mini-bus and three converted Fiats that have an electronic ramp at the back and an electric pulley to get wheelchairs in and out safely. What has been your most interesting experience? Meeting so many fascinating people. There is a lady I take to the Friday Lunch Club at the Ryfield Centre who is 92 and sharp as a whippet. She used to work at Bletchley Park and was a WREN in the war, helping to liberate POWs in Singapore. What a life!

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Every reasonable endeavour has been made to find and contact the copyright owner of this image. However if you believe a copyright work has been included without your permission, please contact us at the address on page 16.


From the archive In this archive picture, our volunteers supervise a mobile bedside telephone service at Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1956. The oldest building at the infirmary was opened in 1737, and is among the earliest clinical environments still in regular use in the country

Farewell to friends Remembering those that the WRVS family has sadly lost. Bunty Anderson MBE, WRVS Highland Council Area; Joan Arrowsmith, WRVS Bournemouth; Marion Ayrton, WRVS Bangor; Helen Barry, Head of Service for the North West Region; Michael Blunt, WRVS Stroud; Alison Catto, WRVS Aberdeen; Rita Clarke, WRVS Hertfordshire; Marion Cooper, WRVS East Midlands; Mr V Davies, WRVS Leicester; Margaret Denmead, WRVS Bournemouth; Dora Fellowes, WRVS Dudley; John Gibbs, Finance Officer for WRVS King George VI Club, Hanley; Eddie Guinness, WRVS Argyll; Grace Haigh, WRVS Kent; Valerie Haigh, WRVS Nottingham; Doreen Hardy,

treasurer WRVS Darlington; John Hutchinson, WRVS Kirkcaldy; Gwyneth James, Whitchurch Friendship Club committee member; Olive Mason, WRVS Wilmslow and recipient of the British Empire Medal for her service and dedication to others; Gwynneth Rowe, WRVS Wales and one time council member and mayor; Vera Rowland, project manager at the Darlington Memorial Hospital WRVS shop; Betty Smith, WRVS Derby; Mrs B Sutton, WRVS Worksop; Phil Tape, WRVS Cornwall; Joan Todd, WRVS Cambridge; Jean Traill, WRVS Inverness and member of the WRVS Association; Agnes Venables, WRVS Yorkshire and Humber.


fundraiser is bogus, as occasionally fundraisers can cross over into the next town or village by mistake. However, Door-to-door fundraising as with any visitor to your door, activity will continue this year to do ask them to show you some help fund vital WRVS services. identification. With regular monthly If you require reassurance donations we can plan for the please contact the Door to future and continue to support Door Helpline 0900 018 9961 or the fantastic work you do locally WRVS Supporter Care Team at and nationally to help older 0845 607 6524 people get more out of life. OPPORTUNITY Our website is updated weekly with a list of the postcodes showing where our fundraisers will be working. We are trying to set up an If a postcode is not included exchange scheme between please do not assume that a students from Sweden coming to the UK for a week or two to volunteer and young WRVS volunteers visiting Sweden to learn about the culture and enjoy some sight-seeing. If you’re interested in finding out more about the exchange scheme then please contact:

WRVS comes knocking

Swedish exchange

action 15

Spring 2011


Kathy Carroll (left) enjoys a reminiscence session with Violet Phillips

“ They sang ‘I do like to be Thrilled to volunteer beside the seaside’ with I me, even though I have a really awful voice” Violet Phillips is a retired lecturer and businesswoman from Wimborne in Dorset. She has a large family, and has been a WRVS volunteer for less than a year


joined WRVS a few months ago, having looked around for good things to do. During my working life I was able to feel that I could make a difference to some individuals’ lives and I missed that. I was first attracted to the idea of becoming a library visitor but there were no local vacancies, so I agreed to try ‘reminiscence’. For anyone who does not know what this is, it involves going into residential homes and ‘playing’ with those residents who fancy it. We play, chat, talk and sing around themed, past experiences. The first time I did it my theme was ‘going to the seaside’. I equipped myself

with my grandchildren’s fishing nets, buckets, spades and various hats I have around my house. My husband suggested taking a hanky tied at the corners. One of the men wore this and recalled how badly sunburned his dad had got. The residents really enjoyed the session and entered into the spirit, even singing ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ with me, even though I have a really awful voice! They all had such interesting memories of holidays during their childhood, and loved singing songs that they didn’t even realise they still knew. It was a great tonic for us all.

have to say that I’m very impressed with WRVS on various levels. Everyone I speak to knows about it and what it does. The recruitment process is also very efficient and effective; other volunteer bodies that I tried did not even get back in touch with me. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some very fine training. In spite of the impressive and substantial history WRVS has, I am pleased to see that it has bitten the bullet and accepted that change in this current economic and social climate is inevitable. I am thrilled to be asked to contribute to this change by becoming a Volunteer Partner, a sort of voice of the volunteer. The role involves me talking, on a regular basis, with volunteers so that their thoughts, ideas and opinions can be taken into account during this interesting, if scary, time.



Isle of Wight 07714 898549

HEAD OF SERVICES Linda Jennings 07714 898604

HEAD OF SERVICES Chris Graham 07714 898667

SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Jenifer Ainsworth Derbyshire, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire 07919 991544

SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Derek Hails Darlington, Gateshead, Tees Valley, Middlesbrough, Durham 07714 898525

Joanne Edwards Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire 07714 898546

Carol Nevison Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland 07736 184341

Anne Ledbetter Buckinghamshire,Lincolnshire 07714 898534

EAST OF ENGLAND HEAD OF SERVICES Debbi Fair 07714 898676 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Esther Gillespie Essex, Hertfordshire 07786 635179 Elissa Rampling Norfolk,Suffolk 07714 898530 Nikki Soyza Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire 07714 898 615

LONDON interim HEAD OF SERVICES Debbi Fair 07714 898676 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGER André Knirsch London 07714 898562


SOUTH WEST HEAD OF SERVICES Steven Hargreaves 07714 898563 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Amanda Whitlock Cornwall, Devon, Dorset 07714 898658 John Clifford Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire 07545 925757

INTERIM HEAD OF SERVICES WEST MIDLANDS Sue Collins HEAD OF SERVICES 07714 898599 Sam Ward SERVICE DELIVERY 07714 898602 MANAGERS Mark Davidson SERVICE DELIVERY Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool MANAGERS Ruth Nice 07714 898613 Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire Suzanne Kaye Manchester, Wirral, Cheshire 07714 898572 07714 898522 Sharon Sinclair Shropshire and Black Country SOUTH EAST 07714 898611 interim HEAD OF SERVICES Lynn Hensman, Area Manager Linda Jennings Birmingham and Staffordshire 07714 898604 01782 213489 or 0778 6635164 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS YORKSHIRE & HUMBER Heather James Kent, Medway, East HEAD OF SERVICES Sussex, Brighton Sue Collins 07714 898688 07714 898599 Margaret Lawson Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey 07714 898551 Irena Wasylowsky West Sussex, Hampshire,

SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Ray Koralewski Bradford, York, East Riding, Lincolnshire, City of Hull, Barnsley, Doncaster 07714 898710

Paul Taylor Sheffield, Rotherham, Wakefield, Leeds, Kirklees, North Yorkshire, Calderdale 07714 898589

SCOTLAND HEAD OF SERVICES Margaret Paterson Borders region, Arran, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway 07714 898679 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Elaine Goldie Argyll and Bute, Highlands and Western Isles 07714 898527 Alison Love Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire 07714 898596 Gill Martin Lothian, Fife, Forth Valley, Orkney 07714 898597 Josephine Mill Grampian, Tayside, Shetland Islands 07834 482361

WALES HEAD OF SERVICES Sally Rivers 07714 898571 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Trish Hughes South West Wales 07590 776027 Wendy Marshall South East Wales 07714 898670 Tracey Woodbine North Wales 07714 898541

What’s your story? action is about you and your news. We’re looking for: Your views on action or anything else that’s on your mind

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action is produced by WRVS internal communications Editor Alyson Ayland Tel: 029 2073 9066 WRVS vision A world where every older person has the opportunity and choice to get more out of life. WRVS purpose To deliver practical support through the power of volunteering so older people can get more out of life. wrvs Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff CF23 8RP Tel: 029 2073 9000 Registered charity number 1015988 and SC038924 Join us, support us To find out about volunteering opportunities with WRVS call 0845 601 4670 To make a donation to support our work call 0845 607 6524 WRVS benevolent trust For volunteers in sudden financial need. 14 Wykeham Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 2SE publisher Published on behalf of WRVS by Think, The Pall Mall Deposit, 124-128 Barlby Road, London W10 6BL Publishing editor: Jack Kibble-White Regional editor: Andrew Cattanach Sub-editor: Andrew Littlefield Art director: Alistair McGown Publisher: John Innes Managing Director: Polly Arnold PAGE ADVERTISING Craig Burke 029 2073 9014 INSERT ADVERTISING Tom Fountain 020 8962 1258 or email © 2011 WRVS. All rights reserved. Every reasonable endeavour has been made to find and contact the copyright owners of the works included in this newspaper. However, if you believe a copyright work has been included without your permission, please contact the publishers. WRVS action is printed on FSC paper coming from a well-managed forest. The publishers cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Views of contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the policy of WRVS nor those of the publishers.

We’d love to see your WRVS-related photos (if emailing them, the larger the image the more likely we’ll be able to use it) What’s happening with WRVS where you live?

So please get in touch by emailing Call Alyson Ayland on 029 2073 9066 or speak to your local WRVS contact

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Action - Spring 2011 - Scotland  
Action - Spring 2011 - Scotland  

Action - Spring 2011 - Scotland