Every one of us can make a difference, every day.
- Start a conversation with those you meet out and about, show interest and warmth, and if they are an elderly neighbour ask if they need any practical help.
- Get to know your neighbours – seize the opportunity to introduce yourself when you see them, particularly those who may live alone or rarely leave the house.
- Share your time – offering from as little as 30 minutes a month, there are ways we can make a real difference through volunteering:
- Cambridgeshire Library at Home service uses a network of volunteers to take books out to people who are unable to visit a library, and needs more volunteers.
- Care Network Cambridgeshire would welcome volunteers for their help at home service, supporting people returning from hospital, and as community navigators.
- Community Network is looking for volunteers to run one-hour phone chat groups.
- Contact the Elderly holds monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for over-75s and needs volunteer drivers and hosts.
- Friends of the Elderly needs volunteers to help with its day centres, telephone befriending groups and coffee mornings in sheltered housing schemes.
- Royal Voluntary Service wants volunteers who can help an older person with little tasks, such as doing their shopping and taking their dog for a walk, or delivering meals.
- The Silver Line needs people to help deliver this new helpline for older people.
- Age UK Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has lots of volunteering opportunities and is currently looking for volunteer visitors for the visiting scheme
- Do-it volunteer for people and causes that matter to you.
There are five volunteer centres in Cambridgeshire which can answer your questions and help you to find opportunities:
- Cambridge & District Volunteer Centre
- Royston Volunteer Service (covering part of South Cambs area)
- Voluntary & Community Action East Cambridgeshire
- Huntingdonshire Volunteer Centre
- Fenland volunteer centre
All of these things can make a difference, and research shows that helping others is rewarding by boosting self-esteem, sense of purpose and contributing to the communities we live in.