Page 1

Time to show what we can do

Gathered all together for Donhead lunch

Help us celebrate our Diamond Champions

Special Report, p7

News, p4

Campaign, p8

MP Penny drops in PORTSMOUTH


onservative MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, recently paid a visit to WRVS Meals on Wheels drivers and service users. Penny got the chance to experience first-hand what WRVS volunteers do on a daily basis.

Cornish campaign T CORNWALL

“Our service isn’t just about delivering hot food, it’s also about providing a lifeline to many older people” Local Manager Andrew Bloor said: “We were really pleased that Penny could help our Meals on Wheels drivers with their deliveries. Our service isn’t just about delivering hot food, it’s also about providing a lifeline to the many older people we visit.” Human contact The Meals on Wheels service in Portsmouth delivers 365 days a year and has 343 clients in total, 175 of whom are over the age of 85. As well as providing older people with a hot meal, the volunteers are, for many, the only human contact they have each day.

The service is currently looking for volunteers to help deliver the vital meals, and develop additional services to reach even more older people in the community. If you want to find out more, or know someone who can help, please call the WRVS recruitment team on 029 2073 9000.


he Campaign to End Loneliness is a coalition of organisations, including WRVS, that work together to combat loneliness, inspiring people to keep connected in older age. To help support the scheme a new WRVS project in Cornwall will raise awareness locally. Service Delivery Manager Amanda Whitlock says: “Loneliness is increasingly understood to be a serious condition which can affect a person’s mental and physical health. Research has demonstrated that it brings risks of early mortality similar to smoking. It is also associated with increased rates of heart disease and dementia. Consequently we are now launching a new project focused on raising awareness of loneliness in older age in Cornwall.” For more information about the campaign, to get involved, or to sign up to the email updates, please email Marianne@ campaigntoendloneliness or call them on 020 7012 1409.


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1-4 Regional news 5 National news 6 Our work 8 Diamond Champions 10 Issue: Ageing in Europe 13 Take two volunteers 14 From the archives 15 A day in the life 16 Get in touch

welcome “We’re asking you to nominate a special individual you regard as a Diamond Champion”


elcome to the summer edition of action. To help us celebrate older volunteers who improve the lives of others in their community, we’re asking you to nominate a special individual you regard as a Diamond Champion. In Her Majesty The Queen’s jubilee year we’re delighted to have the support of their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in our search for the 2012 Diamond Champions. There’s still time for you to nominate your Diamond Champion, but the closing date is 27 July, so don’t delay. Since informing you in the spring edition that WRVS trustees have approved our plans to roll out the new community hubs, we’ve been recruiting and inducting the new locality managers. They are responsible for bringing together all our services in their areas to make it easier for older people to benefit from the support they need to get the most out of life. I’d like to thank you, as ever, for the hard work you do on behalf of WRVS to make sure our services keep delivering the vital support to our communities and hospitals. Steven Hargreaves, Head of Services South & South West


your letters Nurturing support I would like to commend WRVS for the way it recruits volunteers as part of the Home Library service. WRVS nurtures and encourages all their volunteers, making us feel supported and appreciated for our services. Belinda Lemkus, Taplow, Maidenhead

We had a couple of letters in response to this comment which appeared in the round-table discussion with Chief Executive David McCullough. Here’s an extract from his reply to Mrs Corr’s letter:

I am very sorry that my comments about “anyone can sell a Mars Bar” have caused you to think that I am dismissing Spreading the word your efforts, or the efforts I know that many WRVS Meals of thousands of others who on Wheels services are finding volunteer for WRVS. it difficult to get new volunteers I spent six very happy years and would like to pass on my in Oxfam working with their experience which may help. 20,000 volunteers and one As a member of WRVS and of of the main reasons that I Horsham U3A (University of accepted the job at WRVS was the Third Age) I asked if U3A because the organisation has would allow me a few words volunteering at its heart. at their general meeting. I am an absolute advocate of There were around 180 members the value and contribution there and we attracted some new of volunteering and am volunteers. Perhaps other people genuinely upset that I have could make use of their own conveyed the opposite. U3A groups to help get What I was trying to say, new volunteers. albeit badly, was that when Cynthia Tisman, Horsham, we look at our shops and cafés West Sussex they clearly do something very special: because they are staffed by people who have chosen to be Feedback there as a way of contributing to “Anyone can sell a Mars Bar” – that hospital, and because they have you any idea how offensive provide an element of personal this throwaway remark could connection and warmth that is sound? This ‘anybody’ spends usually missing in similar retail three hours a week in a kiosk outlets in other hospitals. situated in the mental health My point, therefore, is that unit of my local hospital. we at WRVS have to do a huge The process is a small link amount more to demonstrate with normal living and I that it is not selling the don’t mind if it takes three Mars Bar that is important or 30 minutes for them (because anyone…… ) but it is to make a decision. But don’t the contribution to the hospital tell me ‘anybody’ could sell a community and the impact on Mars Bar in my kiosk, because the well-being of their patients, I know they couldn’t! families and staff that is what Mrs C A Corr, Laindon, Basildon really matters.

Want to tell us about your good work? Write to us (enclosing pictures for news stories): action South & South West, 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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in a nutshell

a handy guide to WRVS services in your area

Devon Community Transport scheme


RVS Devon Community Transport scheme has only been in operation for ten months, yet it has already made a massive difference to the local community. The service helps to provide transport to people with mobility problems and those who struggle with public transport. The service provides an average of 140 trips each month for service users, and is continuing to grow. For more information please contact Local Manager Nick Wharton on 01548 853 259.

3 Kate Hiorns


ongratulations to 16-year-old Kate Hiorns who completed the 2012 Banbury Run. Kate, who volunteers at the WRVS Cornhill Centre, ran the event for WRVS and raised £300. Centre Manager Liz Reed says: “Kate did a great job, she’s a real inspiration to us all. The money will go towards the activity programme that we run at the centre, which is great news for our service users.” If you know someone who could be your next Local Hero, let us know. See page 16 for details.



What are your first memories of WRVS? Mine are of my Mum. She worked at Clatterbridge Hospital for most of her career and when she retired, joined WRVS as a volunteer in the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology. Four years after her death, I followed in her footsteps and became a volunteer at the same centre. Sarah Carlin, North West

hero 4


My first memories are of wanting to join Books on Wheels, as I had been an English teacher and a school librarian. I loved going to the wholesalers and choosing the books for my school: the smell, the feel and the joy of books have always been a delight. Georgina Youdell, East Midlands I first started delivering Meals on Wheels in Andover 15 years ago and before that in Whittington for a couple of years. It is a worthwhile way to spend your free time. Sue King, South East Next issue’s question: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from working with WRVS? Send or email your answer, name, photo and details to the address on page 16.

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A happy gathering



onhead Happy Gathering Club held a celebration lunch recently to mark their 60th birthday. The club, which meets once a month, has over 30 members who enjoy a catch-up, and socialising with friends. Volunteer Zillah Gillespie runs the club and she arranges regular entertainment for the service users such as singers, competitions and trips out. Service Delivery Manager Amanda Whitlock joined in the celebrations during the day and said: “It was a lovely day and I enjoyed myself very much. It was an honour to be invited – they made me feel very welcome and the lunch was great!”

Banbury bunnies BANBURY


taff and volunteers from the WRVS Banbury Cornhill Centre held their annual Easter buffet and all their service users and families were invited. The centre welcomed 30 people, and they all had a lovely time, not least the Cooper family, who all turned up in pink bunny ears. Praise was heaped on Ann Nisbet, who made a delicious simnel cake for the Easter raffle, and on the centre’s resident volunteer quiz master Robin Garrett, who as well as hosting

the quiz also kindly doubled up as the main transport provider for the day. Centre Manager Liz Reed says: “Thanks to Shirley and Jean for helping alongside head chef Russ, who coped admirably with a lot of late bookings and produced a wonderful buffet that everyone enjoyed. It was also lovely to see some of our regulars bringing their families and grandchildren, who received a warm and friendly welcome from our volunteers and guests.”

The Cooper family all turned up to the party in pink bunny ears

Grant funds 150 hot meals REDRUTH & FALMOUTH


hanks to the Cornwall Community Foundation, the WRVS Meals on Wheels service in Redruth was given a grant of £700, which is close to 150 hot meals to be delivered by our volunteers. Open seven days a week, the service delivers a hot, fresh cooked meal each day for their customers and covers the Redruth and Falmouth areas

of Cornwall. This helps to ensure that many of the area’s vulnerable and isolated people can enjoy one hot and nutritious meal each day. Service Delivery Manager Amanda Whitlock says: “This money enabled us to provide a free hot meal to our service users. This not only provides the necessary nutrients, it’s also another defence in the fight to stay warm.”

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NATIONAL NEWS nationwide

Official recognition for WRVS best practice WRVS achieves Investors in Volunteers standard ACCREDITATION


e are proud that WRVS has recently been accredited with the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality standard. We can now add the IiV logo to our letterhead, but, as Head of Volunteering Chris Dobson explains, it means so much more than that. “Through IiV we can demonstrate to potential new volunteers that we are committed to volunteering and that they can expect to be managed well and treated fairly,” Chris says. “But it’s not just about the policies and procedures we have. It’s about involving volunteers in what we do and how we do it, and making sure they are able to benefit from their time with us,

What is IiV? Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard good practice in volunteer management. It demonstrates to volunteers, potential volunteers, service users, partners and the general public the quality of our volunteer management and involvement. It proves – and will continue to prove – the effectiveness of the work of our volunteers.

by – for example – learning new skills. “The assessors visited several of our local services and met lots of volunteers. They were very impressed and I’d like to record my thanks to everyone who has contributed to this achievement. “It’s great to have this external validation of the standards we take for granted. WRVS is a very dispersed organisation and the challenge is to get consistency and best practice everywhere we operate. “Achieving IiV is only the starting point and as well as showing what we are good at, it helps us to identify the areas where we need to improve, in order to keep the accreditation when we are reassessed in three years’ time.”

Farewell to friends Remembering those the WRVS family has sadly recently lost: Helen Brandt, Langham; Joyce Collier, Chorley;

John Gosney, Worcestershire; John Heaton, Worthing; Betty Jack, Dingwall; Irene Langley, Diss; Barbara Lawrence, Rhayader; Sue Loughran,

Horsham; Pat Maddison, Scunthorpe; Madeline Mann, Cornwall; Frances Souter, Inverness; Joan Whitehouse, Worcestershire

WRVS Redditch Community Rides, with funding from Worcestershire Community Transport Partnership, is currently piloting a flexible transport scheme for people who can’t access mainstream public transport, or who have difficulty getting around. The Duchess of Northumberland and WRVS Chair of the Board of Trustees Ruth Markland visited the new Northumberland Hub. WRVS volunteers were thanked by staff at Basildon University Hospital recently for their gifting of £30,000. Celebrity singing star Connie Fisher visited several WRVS services around the Pembrokeshire area as part of the BBC1 Wales TV series Connie’s Wales. WRVS presented Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with a gifting of £195,000. The money was raised at the WRVS shop and tea bar at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and the on-ward trolley service at Royal Preston Hospital. Forth Valley NHS Trust received a gifting from WRVS for £175,000 which was raised from the profits at the WRVS cafés in Stirling and Falkirk community hospitals.

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our work




Making a difference once again WRVS feels even more hectic than usual at the moment – but in a good way, I think. Everyone contributes a huge amount of energy and creativity locally and we’ve tried to reflect that in our national activity so that the wider world sees what a wonderful organisation WRVS is. You’ll see lots of the results featured in this edition of action – Diamond Champions and Nationwise amongst others. We’ve put most of the re-structuring behind us and are now in a position to come together in hubs and really focus on what we can do to support older people in our communities. Thank you for all your help and commitment while we’ve been going through this period of change – it’s time now to get on and focus on the reasons why we are all part of WRVS. As newspapers continue to be full of gloomy stories about shrinking care budgets, neglect on hospital wards and older people struggling to maintain their independence, I’m more

“We can meet so many of our communities’ challenges”

and more convinced that “this is our moment”. WRVS began as part of the solution to an impending national emergency and 74 years later here we are with a crisis of care and support right across Britain. Once again all of us can make such a difference, just as we did all those years ago. But this time there are few others who can play the part that we can. Thanks to our volunteers, who choose to give their time to support others, and our ability to deliver services where and how they are needed, we can meet so many of our communities’ challenges. Also important is our independence, which means we need only worry about one thing: how we can help our older people live the life they want to lead. I’m very proud to be part of an organisation that has such potential for good and such an important role to fulfil. David McCullough, Chief Executive WRVS

behind the scenes THE WRVS WAY

Thanks for your commitment As WRVS hubs are set up from Cornwall to Shetland and Pembrokeshire to Suffolk, staff and volunteers will be getting to know their colleagues and other local services. The hubs bring all services in a geographical area together under one management team, led by a locality manager. After their induction week, the locality managers will focus on learning about the area, team-building and working with their service delivery manager to put together a development plan. The plan will allow us to grow our services and help even more older people. The change will also bring more consistency to WRVS services and our ways of

working. The equipment, processes and training that will help us to do that will be rolled out following the establishment of the hubs. In the meantime, our directors want to acknowledge the continuing support of volunteers and staff and thank them for their commitment to the older people and communities they serve.


Value for money

Being able to demonstrate we are getting the most for our money is a critical part of maintaining the trust of our supporters. We are currently reviewing our top retail supply categories to make sure we have the right balance of social, economic and environmental factors to provide WRVS, and the communities we support, with the best possible value. Through a formal tender process we’ll be giving our current suppliers every opportunity to keep working with us. But we also want to give smaller, local suppliers the chance to offer their services. To help them, we are letting them choose to supply us within a particular geographic area that suits them best.

We’ll be running tasting trials in our shops and cafés so that our staff, volunteers and customers also have their say on which suppliers we should use. For more information visit or call the procurement team on 029 2073 9000. RESULT

Fit for a queen The winner of our ‘Fit for a Queen’ recipe competition, which we ran in the previous issue of action, was Mrs C Guest from Kidsgrove in Stoke-onTrent. She impressed us with her mouth-watering recipe for rhubarb cake. Congratulations to Mrs Guest who receives a £25 Marks and Spencer voucher.

5,643 The number of

new volunteers recruited in 2011

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SPECIAL REPORT: Changing times

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second guide to... the WRVS contact centre

Breaking the cycle and delivering change Our chief executive says it’s time to put WRVS at the heart of communities


ecently WRVS Chief Executive David McCullough spoke about the role he believes WRVS can play in these changing times. “The number of older people in society is growing rapidly,” he explains. “Back in 1901 there were less than a million people over the age of 80, there are now over 3 million and if we project forward 60 years there will be more than 20 million people over the age of 80. That’s an extraordinary triumph of health, housing and nutrition but of course it also brings challenges as well.” The vicious cycle “The question for me is how does the health and social care system respond to some of these challenges? As an example, if you look at how hospitals work at the moment, you will see there is an increasing pressure on the availability of hospital beds. Because of this, older people get discharged sooner than is ideal, and so don’t have enough rehabilitation time.

“That means they get home and are not well enough to cope, so often end up back in hospital or in residential or nursing care. That costs substantial sums of money that could be used to prevent people getting ill; and because of that, hospital admissions rise, and because hospital admissions rise the pressure on beds increases – and so it goes on. It’s a very damaging cycle - for individuals and for the country as well. Social prescription “The great news is that WRVS can help break that cycle. We have volunteers who can spend time supporting those who are recently home from hospital and most importantly, our people can spend the right amount of time that older people need rather than saying, as many local authority employees must: ‘my 15 minutes is up, I’ve got to go.’

“There’s often confusion between whether people need medical support or the important, kindly ‘good-neighbour’ support we provide. Of course specialist support must be provided by those who are correctly trained, but in many cases what’s needed is connection, care and help provided by people who want to contribute to their communities – people like us. Making connections “If you connect with people, take time and support them, not only do they feel better and remain independent, but they save the system money that can then be spent on those that need it more urgently. I believe WRVS, being at the heart of supporting communities and helping older people, is the absolute answer to some of the challenges facing society.” David talks more about this online:

What is the contact centre? It’s a dedicated team of WRVS support staff who can personally resolve most of the phone calls to the Cardiff Gate office. You can call them on 029 2073 9000. Why do we need it? The team is trained to answer most queries from start to finish without having to transfer you to other people in the building. This removes the frustration of being passed from one person to another and your call can be dealt with efficiently at the first point of contact. What if I have a direct dial number for someone that I call regularly? It’s best to start with the contact centre. They should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with the information you need. However, if this isn’t possible, they will put you through to speak to someone from the relevant specialist team who is available to take your call.

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Diamond Champions

Actress Patricia Routledge speaks to action about her admiration for older volunteers and why she is supporting our search for Diamond Champions

“We’ve got a powerful voice”


rom the moment she enters the room with a bright and cheerful greeting, it’s clear Patricia Routledge has a high regard for WRVS. She pauses to admire our archive posters on the walls. “I remember the WVS, which of course was formed just the year before the war by a very forward-looking, brilliant lady called Lady Reading. It was really terrific. She understood what lay ahead and knew what women were capable of. She was right. Forget the shy, retiring violets, there’s a lot of beef out there, you know. “It’s a pity that with a great many younger people the image of WRVS is more historical than actual and contemporary, so we must remind people

that your activities are ongoing, and that the organisation is not just female “The structure of society orientated. There are plenty of splendid would collapse if it weren’t men alongside. It’s exciting to think of for volunteers. That’s why it’s the growing awareness Diamond Champions will bring.” important to celebrate them” Patricia warms to the theme as we discuss volunteering. She’s genuinely thrilled to have been asked to extend her role as a Diamond Champions ambassador older volunteers who have been nominated and I gather there are some really good and sit on a regional judging panel. stories coming in. It’s wonderful how you Huge admiration can open up your own life by volunteering. “I have a huge admiration for older people It can turn people’s lives around when who unstintingly give their time to make they find their experience, wisdom and other people’s lives worthwhile and practical application is not only needed, enjoyable. I can’t wait to hear about the but appreciated.”


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Diamond Champions patrons, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

Shout it loud


Actress Patricia Routledge is a keen supporter of WRVS and our Diamond Champions initiative

Not here to be forgotten

So does Patricia think older people should make themselves heard more? “We’ve got a voice and quite a powerful one. When I was growing up, your Granny and Grandpa were among your most favourite people. We looked up to them. In many societies – in China, France, and Italy for instance – the old are revered and regarded for their experience and wisdom. Unfortunately, in certain quarters of British society there is a total lack of respect.” But the indefatigable Patricia, who has spent all day being interviewed by radio and newspapers about her support for our search for Diamond

fter working with us on Text Santa last year, TV presenter Phillip Schofield was only too happy to lend us his support for our search for Diamond Champions. He told BBC Radio Norfolk why he got involved: “I made a film for WRVS last Christmas and I was sent out in the Meals on Wheels van… The volunteers I met that day were David takes questions incredible and the people whose doors from volunteers and staff we knockedatonJanuary’s who were waiting for Q&A session their meals were so grateful… It was a real eye-opener for me. I thought: this is extraordinary and if it weren’t for these people they would really struggle to get fed, to get a nutritional meal. “And that’s just part of what WRVS do. There’s all sorts of other things they provide, ranges of services like Home from Hospital, community transport,

Good Neighbours, befriending services, that sort of thing, generally under the radar and you don’t get to hear about it and I thought it was time to shout it loud.”

Champions, won’t be sidetracked from the main topic for long.

Roll up your sleeves

“The structure of society would collapse if it weren’t for volunteers. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the amazing work they do. I think Diamond Champions is a great title. It says you’ve rolled up your sleeves and got on with it. I feel proud to be part of this: to have been invited to be an ambassador. We should sing it from the rooftops.” With a hint of a mischievous smile, she says: “What’s this new idea of the ‘Big Society’? ‘Caring for each other’? It’s been going on for years, tell the Government!”

Nominate now! Do you know someone over 60 who volunteers to help others? Why not show them how much you value what they do by nominating them as a Diamond Champion? Everyone can nominate. Use the form in the leaflet we sent to volunteers in June or online at Closing date for nominations is 27 July

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Ageing in Europe Ageing Across Europe

Report prepared by DEMOS for WRVS April 2012

A new WRVS report brings the welfare of our older people into the spotlight

Paul Burstow MP recently visited the WRVS befriending service in Kensington and met a number of service users and volunteers

Third-class senior citizens M

any European countries, the UK included, are having to face up to the challenge of an ageing population. However, with increasing pressure on public budgets, it is important to pin down exactly what it is that makes a particular country a great place to grow old. One way of doing that is to see what lessons can be learned

How the four countries rank according to the Ageing Across Europe report 1 Sweden 2 Netherlands 3 UK 4 Germany

from our European neighbours. Do their policies and services provide older people with a good quality of life? In an attempt to find out, and also discover how we in this country fare when it comes to caring for our ageing population, WRVS commissioned the Ageing Across Europe report. This extensive piece of research examined health, wealth and loneliness in the UK, as compared to Germany, Netherlands and Sweden, and graded the UK as third overall out of the four countries.

Less active and isolated

In terms of the health of over-65s, the UK performs particularly poorly. In general, our older people feel less active than their overseas counterparts. This may reflect the particularly unhealthy lifestyles in the

UK, where we have higher rates of alcohol consumption and obesity. Isolation also comes out as a particular problem. Our older people have the highest rates of loneliness out of the four countries, with the report concluding that our older

“The UK graded third overall out of the four countries” people are the loneliest, poorest and most concerned about age discrimination. Vicki James, Research Manager at WRVS, believes Ageing Across Europe highlights “The importance of local decision-makers developing services that address the loneliness of older people.” The report

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Epidemic of loneliness


shows that countries which have a higher level of volunteering have a higher level of well-being amongst older people.

WRVS can do a lot to help

Although the report might make for gloomy reading, it does suggest that there is a lot that we at WRVS can do to help, particularly when it comes to combating loneliness. “From our own experience working with older people, we know that increased social interaction and more socialising between generations are hugely beneficial in combating not only loneliness, but also health problems,” says David McCullough, WRVS Chief Executive. “This, in turn, can keep people happier, healthier and out of hospital and in their homes for longer.” Our volunteers are at the forefront of this important work. For older people who don’t have family members to call upon, our Good Neighbours offer practical help, such as collecting a pension or a

repeat prescription, walking the dog or even just changing a light bulb. And our WRVS befriending service provides an older person with regular face-to-face or telephone contact. These chats offer a vital link into the community for those who might be otherwise socially isolated. We’ve found that this kind of contact can really help to reduce feelings of loneliness, as well as increase motivation and confidence.

Learning from EU partners

The Ageing Across Europe report tells us that there is much still to be done to improve the experience of ageing in the UK, but we should use these findings positively. “We must learn from our EU partners,” believes David. “They have proved it is possible to tackle some of these issues by taking advantage of volunteers to provide older people with more social contact and better links to their communities.”

n March, the first summit focusing on tackling what Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow MP, called “the epidemic of loneliness” took place. Attendees heard evidence that loneliness is a major health issue that can contribute to problems such as high blood pressure. At the summit, the Department of Health agreed to fund a toolkit that will help local authorities work out how big a problem loneliness is in their area. Paul Burstow and WRVS Chief Executive David McCullough recently visited the WRVS befriending service in Kensington to meet a number of service users and volunteers. “Loneliness as we get older is a huge problem,” says David, “and schemes like this successfully put older people in touch with others who can provide that vital link to the community. This has a real impact on older people’s wellbeing and overall health. “Older people have told WRVS that social connections are central to the quality of life that they would wish to have. We have growing evidence from the places where we work that services like befriending can provide the practical and emotional support that move people from a place of dependency to one where they have a better quality of life and greater confidence. “Services like befriending, underpinned by volunteers, can generate real savings for both the health service and local government.”

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Life’s a struggle for people of all ages at the moment and when times are tough, who better to turn to than someone who’s been through it all before? Nationwise is a campaign created to share the wisdom of older people across the generations. With their help, advice and tips we’ve created a set of guides on topics as diverse as how to make your money go further and the secrets of a long-lasting relationship. Everyone – young and old – is invited to share their own pearls of wisdom and those passed down from parents and grandparents. So why not join us and add your own tips, whether serious or light-hearted, at, write to FREEPOST RSXE-ZRZC-YZKR, Nationwise, WRVS, Cardiff CF23 8RP, email or tweet using #Wisetips. We’ve also printed some of the tips in six handy guides which are available from WRVS community centres, hospitals and cafés.

We also have our own WRVS guides... As well as our Nationwise campaign guides, packed with the wisdom of our older generations, we have put together a set of WRVS guides based on our own expertise. Designed to help reach the general public, new customers and service users, the guides include all you need to know about preparing for a hospital stay, home maintenance and loneliness and well-being. We’ve also produced a leaflet on nutrition for older people, which was written in conjunction with Waitrose. So why not share these guides with friends, family and relevant places in your local community? You can download the guides from our website or you can pop into your local WRVS service who can order some copies for you.

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Carol Kelly

Karen Young

“It’s really nice for me to have made a new friend” Carol Kelly and Karen Young are Good Neighbours, volunteering in South Wales and West Yorkshire, respectively

Learn more online about Good Neighbours at newport

Carol Kelly

Karen Young

When did you start volunteering? I started in March last year. I wanted to do something that would help in some way and WRVS was the first charity that came to my mind.

When did you start volunteering ? I started about a month ago. I moved to Chapel Allerton in November and wanted to get involved with the community and get to know people here.

Can you tell me what being a Good Neighbour is about? Bringing a touch of the outside world in. Some older people feel cut off from society. I go to visit them at home to provide a little company and try to help them where I can – it’s very rewarding!

Why WRVS? I am looking to go into social work, with a particular focus on working with older people. It made sense to volunteer. I am gaining some very useful experience which will help me with my future career.

What would life be like for the people you visit if your role didn’t exist? Without us, I think the older people would feel more isolated. I can see that one of the ladies I visit has really started to grow in confidence. I take one of my other ladies to visit her husband’s grave, and it really means a lot to her. I wonder how she would make that trip if it weren’t for WRVS?

What would life be like for the people you visit if your role didn’t exist? The lady I just visited doesn’t have any family and doesn’t speak to many people, so I provide her with that bit of extra help and company that she wouldn’t have otherwise, and I help her keep active. As I am new to this area, it’s also really nice for me to have made a new friend.

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olent FromTrust the archive

April 1975, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II pays a visit to the WRVS Housing Association flats at Queen Elizabeth Close, Norwich

WRVS Benevolent Trust Here for you‌

To apply for a grant write to:

Helping current and former WVS/WRVS members, volunteers and staff who find themselves in unexpected financial need. Recent grants have included:

The Honorary Secretary WRVS Benevolent Trust 26 Pound Lane Isleham Ely Cambridgeshire CB7 5SF

To apply for a grant write to:

The helpHonorary towards Secretary help with help to buy the cost of WRVS Benevolent Trust dental a washing Or to download an an electric treatment machine 26wheelchair Pound Lane application form visit our website at Isleham Or to download an application form Ely visit our website at Cambridgeshire CB7 5SF

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There’s always plenty for Barbara and her fellow volunteers to do to keep the Swindon shop running

“You get a lot of staff and patients coming through” Barbara Hicks is a volunteer at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital


start at around 7.30am. However, the shop opens at 6.30am, so it’s usually pretty busy when I walk through the door. At that time of day you get a lot of staff and patients coming through. In fact, the busy spells come in waves all morning. We all pitch in to get everything done. There’s usually three volunteers, our manager and a supervisor, but even with all five of us, there’s plenty to do – serving customers, dealing with new stock and filling up the shelves. I work through until about 1.30pm, but stay on a bit longer when needed. I actually ended up vounteering here after passing the shop on my way to a hospital appointment. It caught my eye, and I thought it was somewhere I would like to work. I’ve been here for around three-and-ahalf years. For the last three months, we’ve

been using the new Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS) system. It took a bit of time to learn how to use this type of till, but now I’m up to speed it’s made things easier. Sometimes you find yourself having to log back in, which I think is a bit of a bugbear, but you can process the lottery and top up phone cards and vouchers, which makes things much easier – everything is done under one transaction. I would say that using it has also made me a little bit more confident with technology as well. I think it has made a positive difference to people coming in to the shop. The screen on the front of the system comes up with WRVS messages, which have caught people’s eye. It’s good advertising and has helped me get into conversations about volunteering.

New system is just the ticket action contacted WRVS EPoS staff member Dominic Routledge, Senior EPoS Finance Assistant, to tell him what Barbara had to say about the new system. “Swindon is one of our test locations,” he explained, “and as a result of volunteer and staff comments, one of the changes we have made is to increase the time that passes before you have to log back in from five minutes to 15. “Thanks to the excellent feedback from staff and volunteers at the test sites, we are now planning to roll out the EPoS system to around 160 different WRVS shops this year. Soon many more WRVS shops will be able to process lottery tickets and top up cards all through just the one system.

CONTACTS Ray Koralewski Liverpool, North and HEAD OF SERVICES North East Lincolnshire, Margaret Paterson North Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire 07714 898679 07714 898710 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Elaine Goldie Paul Taylor Argyll & Bute, Highlands, Leeds, York and South Western Isles Yorkshire 07714 898527 07714 898589 Alison Love Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire 07714 898596 Grahame Rose Lothian, Fife, Forth Valley and Orkney 07714 898597

Melissa Cartwright Lancashire, Sefton and Kirklees 07786 635162

Josephine Mill Grampian, Tayside, Shetland 07834 482361

Wendy Marshall South East Wales 07714 898670

SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Derek Hails County Durham and Darlington, Tees Valley and Cumbria 07714 898525 Carol Nevison Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Sunderland 07736 184341

For North Wales queries, please contact Sally Rivers as above

MIDLANDS HEAD OF SERVICES Sam Ward 07714 898602 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Jenifer Ainsworth Leicester, Northampton & Rutland and South Lincs (South Kesteven, South Holland, Boston Borough) 07919 991544

Joanne Edwards Derbyshire, Nottingham and North Lincs (West Lindsey, NORTH WEST, YORKSHIRE East Lindsey, Lincoln and North Kesteven) & HUMBERSIDE 07714 898546 HEAD OF SERVICES Sue Collins Lynn Hensman Staffordshire and Birmingham 07714 898599 01782 213489 or 0778 6635164 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Ruth Nice Helen Hailstone Herefordshire, Worcester Manchester, Wirral and Cheshire and Warwickshire 07714 898522 07714 898572

Editor Craig Burke Tel: 029 2073 9014


HEAD OF SERVICES Sally Rivers 07714 898571 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Trish Hughes South West Wales 07590 776027

HEAD OF SERVICES Chris Graham 07714 898667

action is produced by WRVS internal communications


Jean Trench Borders, Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Ayrshire 07718 982790





Sharon Sinclair Shropshire and the Black Country 07714 898611

EAST & SOUTH EAST head OF SERVICES Debbi Fair 07714 898676 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS Esther Gillespie Essex and Hertfordshire 07786 635179 Heather James Kent, Medway, and East Sussex 07714 898688 André Knirsch London 07714 898562 Nikki Soyza Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Cambridgeshire 07714 898615 Karen Barford West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and Surrey 07714 898534 Toni Lancaster Norfolk and Suffolk 07714 898530

HEAD OF SERVICES Steven Hargreaves 07714 898563 SERVICE DELIVERY MANAGERS John Clifford Somerset, Bristol, Swindon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire 07545 925757 Margaret Lawson Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Slough 07714 898551 Irena Wasylowsky Hampshire and IOW 07714 898549 Amanda Whitlock Cornwall, Devon and Dorset 07714 898658

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

Have you looked at My WRVS yet?

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. 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 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 © 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 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.

Please pass on this magazine or recycle when finished.

It’s a special area on the WRVS website where you can contact other volunteers, join chats and discussions, and find important and useful documents to support your valuable work as a WRVS volunteer.

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