Passing on pearls of wisdom
Karen’s hello to Surrey, Sussex and Brighton
“WRVS is an amazing organisation” Interview, p6
Late bloomers A
ge is definitely no barrier when it comes to volunteering – as is proven by 90-year-old Meals on Wheels driver Nancy Bodigian-Sharpe. Nancy, who began volunteering in 1962, delivers meals for West Sussex Bognor Regis Meals on Wheels and still enjoys every minute of it. “I’ve delivered thousands of meals over 50 years of volunteering with WRVS and I will carry on as long as I’m blessed to do so,” says Nancy.
“I’ve delivered thousands of meals over 50 years of volunteering with WRVS” The service, which also provides safe and well checks for all service users, needs more volunteers to help deliver meals in the area. “Nancy and her colleague Joyce have been working together for many years and serve others that are a lot younger than themselves,” says Local Service Manager Claire Stubbs. “While we have a great team here in Bognor Regis we are always looking for new volunteers.” If you feel you or someone you know has time to help please contact 0845 601 4670.
EAST & SOUTH EAST EDITION
RVS is pleased to introduce Toni Lancaster, the new Service Delivery Manager for the South East, covering Norfolk and Suffolk. Toni has worked with older people for the past 25 years, managing care homes with a particular emphasis on caring for people with dementia. More recently, Toni managed a portfolio of services that included such community based care services as domiciliary care, and day care for older people. New initiatives “I worked with local statutory and voluntary organisations including WRVS, identifying gaps in services and looking at methods of delivering new initiatives with the aim of supporting people to remain in an environment of their choice for as long as possible,” says Toni. “I have been fortunate enough to already meet some of my new colleagues. I was made to feel very welcome and am looking forward to working for WRVS.”
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Regional news National news Q&A: With WRVS Chief Executive David McCullough Jubilee recipe competition Our work Leaving a legacy Take two volunteers From the archives A day in the life Get in touch
“You particularly enjoy the news pages that showcase how we support older people locally”
elcome to the spring edition of action. We learnt from the reader survey in the last edition that you particularly enjoy reading the regional news pages that showcase how we support older people locally. If there’s something happening in your local service that you’d like to see featured, please let us know. Delivering services is the reason WRVS exists. Your work is vital and makes a real difference to the lives of the people we help in our communities and hospitals, and I want to extend my special thanks to you all for continuing to provide these excellent services. We are soon to embark on a few changes, which will see us roll out a strong and consistent local structure across the organisation so that we can support your work and communicate with you better. This will help us to grow as an organisation, so that many more older people can benefit from WRVS in the future. Debbi Fair, Head of Services East & South East
GET IN TOUCH
your letters Thanks for support
Mary Howard-Jones with Chief Executive David McCullough
WRVS visit the National Assembly for Wales Meet, chat and renew – these words sum up the excellent meeting at the Senedd in Cardiff in November. Many volunteers from different parts of Wales met each other for the first time, others renewed long-standing friendships and some of us put faces to names of WRVS staff only ever spoken to on the phone. Hopefully the Assembly Members who attended the event were able to learn more about the work of WRVS and arrange visits to local services. Changes have taken place in WRVS over the years, but without change we would stagnate. Mary Howard-Jones Volunteer Partner
I am currently sitting in Poole Hospital where my sister is fighting for her life. The kind ladies from WRVS in the café on the ground floor have been amazing – not only for the cups of tea but for the hugs, comfort and love. Thank you for such wonderful support in this difficult time. Kerry Andrews
Fond of fair library service I recently started as a volunteer for the Home Library service at Bromley Library and have just received the informative action newspaper at home. I was pleased and impressed to find out that the Home Library service offers a much longer loan period for people and doesn’t fine borrowers if books are late. Darren Roy Cox
In tough times WRVS has been the perfect outlet for me and has kept me going through quite a few difficult times, for which I am eternally grateful. Barbara Tonks Local Service Manager
We tweet news as it happens. Follow us on Twitter @WRVS O WRVS response to Health Committee report: NHS needs to find more sustainable way of funding older people’s care O Today I’m driving someone to their appointment on behalf of the mighty wrvs!! O Well done to @atlanticdash who have arrived in Barbados after rowing across the Atlantic. Thank you for raising money for WRVS O We’re about to reach 3,000 followers! Let’s see what we can do to make it 4,000! Thanks for all the shout outs, follows and retweets everyone
Want to tell us about your good work? Write to us (enclosing pictures for news stories): action East & South East, WRVS Cardiff Gate, Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff CF23 8RP email us: email@example.com
The WRVS vision is a world where every older person has the opportunity and choice to get more out of life
in a nutshell
a handy guide to WRVS services in your area
Loxford Polyclinic Café W
RVS has a new café at the Loxford Polyclinic, in the heart of multicultural East London. Open Monday to Friday, the service is based in a busy clinic. WRVS already has plans to include a trolley service in the next few months and are really looking to promote the great work that is done in the local community. The service still needs volunteers, so if you or anyone you know might be interested in volunteering, please contact the WRVS recruitment team on 0845 601 4670.
3 Ivy George
ominated by Carol Adams and Marion Smith, Ivy George MBE has been a volunteer with WRVS for over 30 years. Ivy, who currently volunteers at the WRVS Maldon Centre and Heybridge Darby and Joan Club, first started volunteering for WRVS with Meals on Wheels. In 2002, she was awarded an MBE for services to her local community. “Everyone who has worked with Ivy realises how welldeserved her MBE was,” says Marion. “From all her friends at the Maldon Day Centre thank you, and keep up the good work!”
If you know someone special who should be your next Local Hero, then let us know. See page 16 for contact details.
Tell us about a friend you’ve made through WRVS My WRVS friend is Mary. She is 93 years old and lives in a remote village in Pembrokeshire. She gives me someone to care about outside my family and she assures me that I give her something to look forward to in the long lonely hours. Doug Harvey, Wales I have made a friend and she is my Meals on Wheels buddy Cheryl Thomas. We have a lovely hour together when we are doing Meals on Wheels catching up and checking up on our recipients. It makes volunteering all the more enjoyable. Susie Greenwood, South East Since joining WRVS I have made lots of new friends. I work with the other volunteers training them on disability awareness. If I had to point out one main person who is a good friend it would have to be Alizon Robson, she is a lovely lady. Sharon Geldart, North East Next issue’s question: What are your first memories of WRVS? Send or email your answer, name, photo and details to the address on page 16.
PHOTO: WORTHING HERALD
New to the team W
RVS is pleased to introduce Karen Barford, the new Service Delivery Manager in the South East region covering West Sussex, Surrey and Brighton and Hove. Karen, whose previous work experience covers public, private, community and voluntary sectors at operational and strategic levels, has recently been working in
adult social care, including services for older people. “While I am new to WRVS, I have been aware of the excellent work of the organisation for many years,” says Karen. “I am excited to be given this opportunity and have been made to feel very welcome. I am really looking forward to being part of the team to take WRVS on the next stage of its journey.”
service to people who can’t get out to a library. There are currently 263 WRVS volunteers delivering to 458 people. “I want others to know that this service is invaluable to people like me,” says service user Olivia.
Home Library volunteer Mary Wiles from Prestwood had been visiting a lady who turned 100 last year and arranged for a letter of congratulations from Sir Alex Ferguson, as she’s a big Manchester United fan.
Meals on Wheels are Worth(ing) weight in gold
RVS West Sussex Worthing Meals on Wheels was put in the spotlight by local newspaper the Worthing Herald for all the great work it does in the local community. As one of the only services in the area to be open 365 days a year, many older people heavily rely on it. “The clients are really very appreciative,” says volunteer Ursula Hooper, who has been
ome 33 volunteers from WRVS Buckinghamshire Home Library service have been recognised for their longservice. Councillor Martin Phillips, the Cabinet Member
delivering meals for the past 12 years. “I became a volunteer after I retired because I thought it was worthwhile and it creates a bit of structure to my week.” Service user Daphne Snyman also praised the service, saying: “I don’t know what I would do without them. I have made so many lovely friends. I could not ask for any more from these people.”
for Community Engagement, presented 13 of the volunteers who could be there with the Ulverscroft Foundation Certificate of Merit. The service, run in partnership with Bucks County Council, provides a library
NATIONAL NEWS nationwide
Let’s get Nationwise New WRVS guides will make the wisdom of older people available to all CAMPAIGN
ost of us can remember the occasional pearl of wisdom that our mother or grandmother came out with, such as “Never go to sleep on an argument” or “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”. Nowadays, we can get all the advice we need (and so much more that we don’t) just by looking on the internet. However, we believe that advice is much better when it comes from someone whose opinion you can trust. From our own years of experience, we know that part of the valuable role that older people play in society is to share their wisdom. After all, they have lived through tough times before.
Brenda’s bingo budget Brenda, 74, from Banbury in Oxfordshire shares her budgeting wisdom. “I go to clubs and groups regularly so I separate out the money I need each week and put it aside. That way I know what I have left to play with. “I still save and I’m still careful, although I don’t need to be so much now. My winnings at bingo still go into a pot in case I’m short one week!”
So that’s why we’re developing a range of guides written by older people for younger people. At the same time, we’ll also produce guides that help older people, their families and carers get the most out of life. “Making Britain a great place to grow old isn’t just about helping older people,” says Claire Thwaites, Head of Marketing at WRVS. “It’s also about valuing them and making the most of their experience and knowledge.” If you have a pearl of wisdom you’d like to share, whether it’s serious or light-hearted, let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. uk or write to Nationwise, WRVS, Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, CF23 8RP. The website wrvs.org.uk/ nationwise will be live from the end of April.
As part of ITV’s Text Santa campaign, the WRVS Hereford Centre was chosen to receive a special makeover from celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin. A gifting of £30,000 took place at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. Volunteers at the hospital’s tea bar raised this considerable amount of money. WRVS Monklands Hospital café in Airdrie gifted a fantastic £125,000 to NHS Lanarkshire Trust. This sum of money will make a big difference to the local community and the trust were very grateful for the gifting. Volunteers at Buckinghamshire Home Library service have been recognised for their long-service with Ulverscroft Foundation Certificates of Merit. WRVS has launched a community transport scheme and a new Good Neighbours service in the Plymouth and South Hams region. Nearly 40 WRVS volunteers (some of whom are pictured below) from Wales attended an event at the Senedd to call on Assembly Members to invest more funding in preventative care. WRVS presented Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust with a cheque for £180,000 during a ceremony at Salford Royal Hospital.
WRVS Chief Executive David McCullough
A few months into his role as Chief Executive, David McCullough invited volunteers and staff to pose any pressing questions they had. We went along to listen to the conversation
“WRVS is such an amazing org What are your initial impressions of WRVS? Incredibly positive. I’ve started off by getting out into the field and meeting people. I always think you get a much better impression of what goes on if you actually talk to people on the front line than when you sit in the office and hear what everyone wants to tell you. I get a really strong sense of energy and positive feeling and good will and a really strong sense of everyone wanting to succeed. People are proud to be part of WRVS and actually want us to do more and have more impact. So I think this is a great place: it feels really friendly, there’s lots of humour, lots of energy and enthusiasm.
need to bring all our services together, and that makes perfect sense to me. The cafés, “People are proud to be part the shops, the trolleys all produce income of WRVS and actually want and give us connection in hospitals and to other services in the community. us to do more” There are some locations which have a good mix of where we’d like to try to Everyone’s conscious of the fact that we’re get to, which is a mix of shops and cafés, in a load of change and it’s been difficult for community and hospital services. We a lot of people, but I think once we get to the have a bunch of other places which have other side, there’s a strong sense of everyone virtually no community services at all wanting to get going, to get on with this. and have almost nothing but shops and cafés. There’s nothing wrong with shops How does retail fit into our new and cafés but that’s not all we’re trying to hub structure? do. Our charitable mission is to provide I think one of the important things we’ve support to older people, so we need to said about this hub structure is that we build services as well as shops and cafés.
David takes questions from volunteers and staff at January’s Q&A session
Even a Chief Executive knows the benefit of a friendly chat and a cuppa
ganisation” So if I come to you and say my local hospital is looking to have a fantastic new café in a new area they’re building, are you saying I should say “No, we don’t want that. We’re only concentrating on community”? No, I’m not saying that. But, anybody could sell a Mars bar in a hospital, and anybody could sell a cup of coffee. And just to be clear, I’m not being disrespectful about retail, because I’m a retailer by background. So, I want to know: what would be different about a WRVS café? What makes it different from the high street providers? I bet it would have much more personal interaction, it would be a place where
people could sit and chat, or where families could discover how our services can help their relatives when they come out of hospital. And maybe it’s a place where, in the evenings, hospital patients could come down and have a bit of a book club, or listen to some music… I don’t know. But I know it looks different to a Costa Coffee because it’s full of our wonderful people and our desire to interact and to help and support people, not just sell them a Mars bar. So do you want that new café or not? (Laughs) Yes I do absolutely! I want a new café and I want people to come in it and go “Wow! Look what WRVS has done. It’s amazing, it’s dementia friendly, I love this place: it’s so different”. So yes, absolutely I want it, but I don’t want it if it’s just an imitation of what somebody off the high street can do. Then when we’ve got the café, I’d like some trolley services and some on-ward services; a transport scheme; care for people when they are discharged; Meals on Wheels and lots more! How can we compete against other charities such as Age Concern? The first thing to say is it’s not a competition. There’s more demand than any of us can possibly supply as far as I can see in the next 15 to 20 years. I definitely think we’re the sort of organisation that should work with other people to deliver what the older person wants. So if Age Concern has got a transport scheme in town X, why would we start one? That would be pointless. What we ought to do is look at what other services we could develop that would work alongside the transport scheme. Maybe Age Concern would bring people to our lunch clubs or community centre. I really think we are different and I think we’re incredibly different to Age UK/Age Scotland/Age Cymru, because I think that organisation is increasingly being noisy and complain-y and flogging stairlifts and financial services. I don’t want to be either of those things. WRVS, the sense of us being positive and practical is, I think, perfect. We just crack on and do stuff and we do useful and practical things. Finally David, If you had a magic wand and could use it to fix or change one thing that would help us as we move forward, what would you wish for? This is a bit like Desert Island Discs! Can I have two choices please? I would like us
“I would like us to be the best organisation for volunteers anywhere in the UK”
Biography David took on the post of WRVS Chief Executive in October 2011. He has a professional background in high street retailing and his career has encompassed work with Principles, Next, Saxone and Miss Selfridge. He has led change management programmes at Sears, Equifax and the People Network Limited and held senior management positions in the banking, credit card and IT industries. David is Trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation and prior to his role in WRVS has held non-exec positions as Chair of Café Direct (Guardian Shareholding Company) and Board Director of Just Energy (a South African renewable wind energy company which transfers financial benefits to communities who retain ownership of the land assets).
to be the best organisation for volunteers anywhere in the UK. I’d like everyone to think that if they’ve got some spare time and a bit of experience, they know they can come to us and do something that’s incredibly valuable for society. The second thing, whenever I tell someone I worked with WRVS I’d like them to say “Oh fantastic.” As opposed to: “WSVR... who?” You know, you must all get that, I suppose. WRVS is such an amazing organisation and we’re so big. You know, every time I say to somebody that we have 40,000 volunteers, 2,000 staff, and we work with 100,000 older people, we deliver five million meals and have 500 cafés and shops, they think that’s really amazing! People are absolutely blown away by it. It seems to me we have to work hard to get to the position that people everywhere know and understand what a fantastic organisation this is.
A right royal feast
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ORIGINAL RECIPE THAT’S DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS AND FIT FOR A QUEEN? GET INVOLVED
Her Majesty The Queen, our royal patron, celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. To honour the occasion, we’re holding a recipe competition and we’ll be printing a selection of the best entries in the next issue of action. To enter, send us your favourite recipe from the past 60 years and tell us why it’s fit for a queen. If you’ve got a photo of the food on the plate, send us a copy of that too. We will pick three winners (a starter, a main course and a dessert) that will make up our royal menu and each of those winners will receive a £25 Marks & Spencer voucher.
How to enter
Your recipe must be largely original and could be a starter, main course or dessert. Include your name, address, a daytime phone number and send to email@example.com or by post to WRVS action, Beck Court, Cardiff Gate Business Park, Cardiff CF23 8RP, to arrive no later than 30 April 2012.
Getting the best result for WRVS This is a really critical year for WRVS. There has been lots of excellent work done in thinking about the way our organisation needs to be structured to have maximum impact for older people. But now, we are at a point where the thinking needs to turn into something tangible and real; not just for ourselves but for all those people whose lives we help change for the better. I know that many of your teams are in the middle of consultation about the changes to create hubs where we can bring together all our services to deliver what each person feels will most improve their life. Consultations create uncertainty which is always really difficult – we all wonder about how change will affect us and our families and what it will mean for the people with whom we work. So, my senior team are trying to make sure that everyone will be able to be clear about their future as quickly as possible. At the same time, we need to make sure that the consultations are meaningful and that everyone feels they have had the chance
behind the scenes FEEDBACK
You on action
action editor Craig Burke was delighted by your response to the reader survey we included in the last edition. “Your favourite part is the local news section, followed by A Day in the Life,” he says. “Overall you felt action helped to keep you well informed about WRVS (60% said yes, 35% said sometimes). “We also asked what else you’d like to read about and we received nearly 400 suggestions, so we’ll concentrate on bringing you some of the most popular requests in future editions.
“We can bring together all our services”
to express their views and influence the results. That’s a very difficult balance and I’m really grateful to all of you for working with us on this process so that we can get the best result for the future of WRVS. Because of our tremendous history and because of the great work you all do, I get the privilege of talking to many people who are influential in the way our system of care for older people works. In the last few months whenever I’ve met these people I’ve talked a lot about our plans for the hubs and without fail everyone I have spoken to has been extremely positive and full of praise for how WRVS is planning for the future. That doesn’t make the changes any easier, but I know you will be pleased that we are building on our history by focusing on how we increase impact in communities and for individuals, and that those changes are widely applauded by well-informed people who understand the challenges we face. I think it’s going to be a great year for WRVS. Thanks for everything that you do. David McCullough, Chief Executive WRVS
Credits for care
The number of people over 85 years old in the UK by 2030
“In the meantime, we hope those of you asking for more information about our future plans enjoyed the Q&A with David McCullough article on page 6.” Thanks to everyone who completed the survey and congratulations to Mrs Maureen Parker from Derby. Her response was first out of the hat and that means she is the winner of a £25 Marks & Spencer voucher. Your view on what we do
WRVS gift for Newton Hospital
Text Santa to help WRVS
National News, p5
Arian i Landochau: £50,000
n ystod Wythnos Genedlaethol y Gwirfoddolwyr fis Mehefin, canmolwyd gwirfoddolwyr Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Caerdydd a’r Fro am eu cyfraniad rhagorol. Diolchodd y bwrdd iechyd hefyd i Wasanaeth Brenhinol Gwirfoddol y Merched (y WRVS) am roi mwy na £50,000 mewn
WRVS and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are joining forces to test Care Bank, a new idea from the Department of Health that will encourage volunteers to help people in the community. The project will award ‘time credits’ which can be redeemed against local products and services such as 50 per cent off swimming or use of the gym in the local authority leisure centre. Minister of State for Care Services Paul Burstow MP (pictured) visited the WRVS York Centre in Maidenhead to launch the year-long trial and met volunteers and service users. WRVS Director of Older People’s Services Angela Geer said: “Volunteering is a two-way street and with Care Bank the rewards are on offer to both parties.”
A gift from Text Santa WRVS was privileged to be chosen as one of the charities to benefit from ITV1’s Text Santa appeal and thanks to the viewers’ generosity, we received £686,000 to support our local services. We lost no time in allocating some of the money on festive celebrations for service users at the Cornhill Centre, Banbury, Maes Elsryn lunch club, Llandeilo and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. A further amount supported the delivery of 7,620 hot meals over Christmas. Remaining funds will be spent on specific WRVS services in England, Scotland and Wales in agreement with ITV.
action 11 SPECIAL REPORT: Health Committee recommendation
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second guide to... volunteering opportunities
Calls for home care Report says that more older people should be cared for in the community
he Westminster government’s Health Committee has recommended that a greater number of older people should be cared for in the community, rather than hospitals. This suggestion has come about as the committee looks for ways to relieve pressure on over-stretched NHS resources. “Supporting older people to live independently and healthily in their own homes makes perfect sense all round,” says David McCullough, Chief Executive of WRVS. “The NHS needs to find a more sustainable way of funding older people’s care and a very practical method is by increasing the support for older people within their own community.” Currently, around £2 billion is spent each year on supporting the re-admittance of older people to hospital, and David
Older people and the NHS in England Q The NHS has been challenged to make 4% annual efficiency gains Q Around three quarters of all NHS patients and 60% of hospital admissions are older people Q The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise by 65% in the next 25 years to almost 16.4 million. Source: www.parliament.uk in Publications & Records
Farewell to friends Remembering those whom the WRVS family has sadly lost in recent months:
Margaret Blow, Pentre; Elizabeth (Betty) DugganKeen, Sedgefield; Eunice Gill, Derbyshire;
Audrey Goodrich, Sheffield Hospital; Valerie Joy, Cardiff; Pat Linton, Cheshire; Margaret Massey, Liverpool;
believes that reducing this figure should be a priority. “Every day our 40,000 WRVS volunteers work with people who can continue to live on their own because of the support they have received from WRVS in the community,” he says. “Services like befriending schemes, community transport, lunch and social clubs play an enormously important and often under-valued role in helping older people remain physically and mentally well. “We know there are plenty of occasions when care in hospital is the only way for someone to be treated, but we also hear of many older people who end up in hospital almost inevitably, because they are living extremely lonely lives with no real local support to prevent their health from deteriorating physically or mentally.” Joan Metcalfe, Rotherham; Mary Murphy, East Kilbride; Ina Rankine, East Kilbride; Elizabeth Sewell MBE, Ware; Ellen Tomlinson, East Kilbride; Margaret Woodward, Liverpool
What’s changing about volunteering opportunities at WRVS? There will be a greater variety of opportunities for new and existing volunteers. You bring skills and experience to WRVS and we want to match you with opportunities that best suit you, so we can help you get the most out of your volunteering. What if I am happy with what I am currently doing? Then we’d really like you to carry on as you are. We don’t want to stop any services; we’re just changing the way they are managed to make it easier for older people to get the help they need. WRVS has depended on the dedication of volunteers for over 70 years. We value everything you do and want to make it as easy as possible for you to continue to support our work. How can I find out about volunteering in my area? As the hubs are rolled out we will hold meetings for volunteers to let you know about any new opportunities available locally.
A last act of kindness Volunteer Dorothy Greathead generously left a lasting legacy to WRVS in her will
orothy Greathead volunteered with WRVS for 19 years, doing duties with Scarborough Meals on Wheels, a lunch club and emergency services. But when Dorothy sadly died, her generosity was extended further and we received a gift from her will in November 2011. Laila Bradley volunteered alongside Dorothy and remembers that supporting older people was Dorothy’s passion. Laila recalls Dorothy telling her about the fantastic
support and friendship she received from WRVS after her husband, Eric, died. She wanted to leave WRVS a legacy as a way of saying thank you. “Dorothy was a very discerning lady, very kind,” remembers Laila. Dorothy has left half of her estate to WRVS to be used in her home town of Scarborough. The legacy comes at such an important time, as we develop new services in the area. Dorothy will be remembered with affection and gratitude Dorothy Greathead (pictured left with her friend Mary Hirst) was a devoted volunteer for 19 years and left money to WRVS in her will by everyone here at WRVS.
e are eternally grateful for gifts in wills, as they help to ensure that we can support older people in the future. If you would like to include WRVS in your will, many people find it is easier to leave a small percentage. For example, leaving 1% of your estate to a charity means that you can still leave loved ones 99% and you won’t have to revisit solicitors should any circumstances change.
A gift to remember
To find out more and to request your free legacy brochure please call Amy on 029 2073 9096
gift to remember
Make it a
TAKE TWO VOLUNTEERS
“There’s always someone at WRVS who can get a problem fixed” Christine Shenton and Joan Ellis volunteer at our Staffordshire Hub. Since the launch of the new structure, Christine has started to do something new, while Joan still enjoys helping out in the hub café
How did you get into volunteering? I’ve known of WRVS for quite a while, through relatives who have been supported by them. When I retired I visited the hub to see if I could be of any help. I started out volunteering on the reception desk, but I am now also an outcome co-ordinator.
How did you get into volunteering? When I retired I wanted to do something worthwhile. I had walked by the WRVS Hub two or three times before I decided to pop in and find out more. I volunteer in the café, serving at the counter and bringing people over their food.
When the new structure came in what made you decide to take on extra volunteering? I thought it was something interesting that I could do. I go out on home visits to older people’s houses. I see if there is anything they need that would improve their quality of life. It’s basically about talking and listening.
You haven’t changed your role since the new structure came in, have you? No, I am happy doing what I do. I enjoy meeting people and getting to know the regular customers. Before I retired I worked in a post office, and it was similar to this, in terms of the type of people I would meet.
Why do you volunteer for WRVS? I find it very satisfying. It’s nice to be able to help people out, or put something right. There’s always someone I can turn to in WRVS to set the wheels in motion to get a problem fixed.
Why do you volunteer for WRVS? I get to chat with lots of different people. Their conversation brightens up my day. In fact everyone who comes in, both customers and volunteers, always seem to be in such a positive mood that it can’t help but make you feel happy too.
From the archive A WVS Domestic Advice Bureau, set up in the foyer of a shop during World War II. From 1940 to the late 1990s, our offices across the country were a one-stop shop for information on any subject, from where to obtain emergency clothing to how to repair a leaking tap
? Do you know where to find a complete set of essential WRVS policies? ? How do you know if the expenses claim form you use is up-to-date? ? How will we support you during your first 12 months as a WRVS volunteer?
Essential information at your fingertips Online facility has all the WRVS forms and documents you need
The WRVS document library is the answer to all your questions You will find all the documents you need, from must-read policies that we all have to follow, to processes that help us know what to do and practical things such as forms so that we can claim expenses. You don’t have to know the document name as you can easily search by keywords, such as ‘expenses’. If you can’t find the document you want, please tell us so that we can add it.
Every volunteer can use the document library. Simply go to My WRVS (wrvs.org.uk/ my-wrvs) and log in or create an account if this is your first visit. Once you are logged in, go to the ‘forms and tools’ section where you’ll find a page about the document library, and a link to help you find the documents that you need. Don’t have your own computer? Remember, you can use public computers in libraries to get to the document library, or ask your local service manager for a hard copy of any document you need. wrvs.org.uk/my-wrvs Use your smart phone to get straight to the log-in page of My WRVS with this QR code.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
Helen provides the picture and her patients add the colour
“It’s about finding out what they want to do” Helen France is a volunteer on the dementia section at Sheffield Northern General Hospital
y role is really all about talking to the patients on the dementia section. I provide them with a bit of company and help them reminisce about their past. Some of them don’t receive many visitors, so we feel it’s up to us to help keep them interested and stimulated. I volunteer on Monday mornings and my day starts at the hospital at around about 10am. We don’t really have a set routine, as it’s all about finding out what the patients in the section want to do. A lot of the time that can be simply having a nice chat with them about their family and the life they have lived. However, we also arrange various activities. A couple of weeks ago we ran an
art session. Through that I found that the patients actually got more enjoyment out of colouring in pictures rather than drawing one themselves. So now I am the one who draws the pictures and then they provide the colour. Sometime we’ll work directly with patients in a particular bay, but other times we will set out a table in the ward and let those who are interested come over and join in. My day usually ends at around 12pm, depending upon whether or not I am helping get the patients ready for their lunch. It’s a rewarding way to spend my time, and I take particular satisfaction when someone I chatted to the previous week remembers me.
The art of therapy I got into volunteering back in November through my current job at the WRVS shop in the hospital. I have always been interested in art therapy and I felt that helping out on the ward would give me a chance to explore that a little more. It’s great to watch the patients getting into art, and I like to think that what we do makes their day a little bit brighter.
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WRVS ASSOCIATION & SCOTTISH ASSOCIATION A friendly link for retired WRVS volunteers. For further information please contact WRVS Association 15 Priory Street York YO1 6ET Scottish Association Mrs Jilly Fraser-Malcolm Tree Tops 9 Allanwood Court Bridge of Allan Stirlingshire FK9 4DS
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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 wrvs.org.uk 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. 26 Pound Lane, Isleham, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 5SF PUBLISHER Published on behalf of WRVS by Think, The Pall Mall Deposit, 124-128 Barlby Road, London W10 6BL www.thinkpublishing.co.uk 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 firstname.lastname@example.org © 2012 WRVS. All rights reserved. Every reasonable endeavour has been made to find and contact the copyright owners of the images and works included in this newspaper. However, if you believe a copyright work has been included without your permission, please contact us at email@example.com 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.
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