Charity Cotswold Friends will be celebrating the difference volunteers make to their organisation and thanking them for their time and dedication during this year’s Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June).
Throughout the week, Cotswold Friends will be featuring case studies of volunteers who help them deliver their various community services on their website www.cotswoldfriends.org, Facebook and Twitter, and raising the profile of the amazing contribution volunteers make.
Cotswold Friends help and support older and vulnerable people by running several services in the North Cotswolds, including community transport, activities and day clubs, independence and carer support, befriending, and hospital support.
The charity’s aim is to combat loneliness and isolation through their voluntary services, improve health and wellbeing, and support independent living. It has recently expanded its community transport service into Cirencester. It also receives support from young volunteers through its intergenerational projects.
Cotswold Friends volunteer befriender Jeannie Andrews, who lives in a village near Northleach, says: “I was missing the human contact work used to provide, so when a Cotswold Friends information leaflet dropped through my letter box, I applied to become a befriender and was accepted.
“Volunteering gives structure to my week regardless of the weather. My new friends have added another dimension to my life that was lacking before.
“It’s good to feel part of an organised community group too, within a team of caring and friendly people who value my small contribution to the work of support being done.”
Keith Rogers, a volunteer driver for Cotswold Friends’ Community Transport service who lives in Willersey, says: “Once you retire and the pressures around you drop, you look for something you want to do, not need to.
“Being a volunteer driver gives me an opportunity to not only benefit my community but also myself.
“Social interaction with people, who often don’t socialise much, brings pleasure to both parties. I’m sure the drivers get as much out of it as the passengers.
“What better way to bring a bit of sunshine into both their and my life.”
You can watch a film of Keith Rogers chatting about his role as a Community Transport volunteer driver here.
Joanna Hammond, CEO of Cotswold Friends, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers in the North Cotswolds and Cirencester.
“The quality of life of people using our services has been greatly enhanced by the contribution of volunteers, and their support for older and vulnerable people living in our communities has been incredible.”
You can watch a film of Jo Hammond saying “thank you” to the charity’s volunteers and talking about their many different roles here.
Cotswold Friends has volunteer roles available now to support people who may be isolated in the North Cotswolds and Cirencester. If you think you could help, contact George Halling, Volunteer Manager, on 01608 697007 email [email protected].