Age Concern Luton desperately needs more volunteers to make a real difference to isolated older people

Do you have a couple of spare hours a week?

By Bev Creagh
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 4:37 pm
Age Concern Luton volunteer Mike who says: "I can't recommend it highly enough - it's so rewarding."
Age Concern Luton volunteer Mike who says: "I can't recommend it highly enough - it's so rewarding."

Age Concern Luton is desperately seeking more volunteers to help make a real difference to older people’s lives.

Director Colette McKeaveney explains: "Things are not back to normal since Covid and there are many more isolated and lonely people in the town. Those with disabilities are finding it especially difficult to get out and about.

"We’re particularly interested in kind-hearted souls who’d be willing to visit a house-bound older person for an hour or two a week, to share a cuppa and a piece of cake and have a chat.

Gill is one of Age Concern Luton's longest serving volunteers. She says: "It's a big part of my life and I like to feel I'm giving something back."

"Each volunteer is carefully matched and it’s a really rewarding role.”

She adds: "We’re also looking for telephone befrienders. It can be really interesting to talk to someone who remembers the world before you were born.”

Octogenarian Anne, a carer for her husband who has dementia, sings the praises of ACL telephone befriender Mike.

She said: “It’s comforting to talk to someone outside the home. He’s a great listener and draws me out by asking me about myself and being interested in my past.

"We talk about all sorts of things and his calls have opened up my mind and made me more outward looking.”

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Mike responded: “Not only are you making someone’s day by spending time chatting with them, but afterwards it also gives you a real feeling of satisfaction, knowing you’ve made a difference. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Gill is one of the charity’s longest-serving volunteers – she’s been with them 22 years – and has many telephone friends.

She said: “I get great pleasure out of phoning and helping my people every week. Volunteering is a big part of my life and I like to feel I’m giving something back. It’s very flexible – I do my calls over two days, leaving plenty of time for other interests. And the ACL team are always there if I need support.”

Anne – one of the senior citizens she’s befriended – said: “I’m on my own as all my friends have died and I really look forward to Gill phoning. We have very interesting conversations spanning the spectrum. Her calls leave me uplifted and looking forward to the next one.

"She’s a godsend and I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

> To find out more email www.ageconcernluton.org.uk or call 01582 456812.