Outstanding Age Concern volunteers are ‘just like a substitute family’

TEA TIME: From left ACL director Colette McKeaveney, volunteer Hilary Rohane and Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis
TEA TIME: From left ACL director Colette McKeaveney, volunteer Hilary Rohane and Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis

There was warm praise for Age Concern Luton when Bedfordshire’s Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis visited the charity’s King Street premises last Monday.

She said: “The volunteers here are outstanding. There’s a fantastic spirit among them and the staff. They’re happy and motivated and what struck me most was their highly practical approach to problems which can be severely complex.

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis visits Age Concern Luton.... Photo: Chris Archer

Lord Lieutenant Helen Nellis visits Age Concern Luton.... Photo: Chris Archer

“They look for answers to quickly and efficiently resolve the issue.

“The service they provide is impressive.

“We’re all getting older and studies have shown that many senior citizens feel very isolated.

“Which is why this organisation, with its warm, compassionate volunteers, is so important. The impact they make is incredible.

“They’re like a substitute family, providing friendship, support and activities – all of which makes older people feel part of the community. “

The Lord Lieutenant also touched on distressing events in recent weeks and said: 
“We all need to reach out our hands to our neighbours, to show our humanity and resilience.

“And that’s what’s happening here.

“We’re fortunate indeed that the people of Luton show the way for communities to come together to help each other lead better lives.”

Mrs Nellis was welcomed by director Colette McKeaveney who showed her VIP guest the various services offered by ACL, including handyman and home support, meet and greet hospital discharge, benefits and other advice, social clubs and activities, telephone befriending and charity shops.

Colette said: “It was an honour to have the Lord Lieutenant with us and to give her an insight into the work done by our 400 wonderful volunteers, without whom we would not be able to operate.”

The visit ended with afternoon tea in the specially decorated tearoom with cakes made by volunteer Hilary Rohane, who doubles as the Wednesday receptionist.

Other VIP guests included chair of the board Dr Siva Puthrasingam, board members Jeremy Stanton and Maxine Braham and Vauxhall community relations co-ordinator Cherie Denton.

> Age Concern Luton was founded 20 years ago and its mission is to make Luton a wonderful place in which to live and grow old.

If you would like to make a donation, volunteer or more information visit http://ageconcernluton.org.uk or call 01582 456 812.