CHARITY SPOT Helping Hands: The Difference Volunteers Make
10.11.2017 / words: Will Knowlton
For many of us the term ‘service’ might mean a trip to church or other place of worship. And for some it used to mean that; a distant childhood memory of heading to the village church on Sunday mornings. But this month we wanted to talk about a different type of service, one that spans all beliefs, from Atheist to Zoroastrianism. That’s service in the sense of volunteering.
More and more people are volunteering, with an awful lot of us in Surrey and across the UK getting involved in some form of charity work. So why do they volunteer and why should you?
First of all, by volunteering you can give something of yourself and make a huge difference towards your local community. Secondly, while you’re doing this there is no doubt that you will be learning new skills. Oh and thirdly you’re going to be improving your health and well-being.
So there are great benefits to yourself as well as for the charities and causes you choose to support. You may have some key skill that you’ve hitherto thought benign or run-of-the-mill but actually could be a missing cog in their machine. One can understand what a doctor, nurse or chef could bring to the party skill-wise but actually, the fact that you’re, say, an accomplished accountant, or an ace at DIY, or a keen gardener, might be something that a charity desperately needs.
Charities can significantly reduce the daily costs of what they do by channelling the kindness and dedication of their volunteers and supporters, and yet the value of what they can barely be measured financially. This is why volunteering is so important, not only for ourselves or the charities but to society too.
We all totally recognise that volunteers give something amazing back to the community and we all are so thankful for their on-going hard work. So why not jump on board and come on in for the big win?
Here are some ideas of who you can help around Surrey…
Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care
Phyllis Tuckwell is the only Hospice Care service for adult patients, and their families, across the whole of West Surrey and part of North East Hampshire. Phyllis Tuckwell offer opportunities for volunteering at their hospice in Farnham as well as at the Beacon Centre in Guildford. Volunteers at the trust assist the essential services provided to patients and families in so many ways.
Check out their website at pth.org.uk to get you started and to find out more about their amazing work
Age UK help well over 7 million people every year, working tirelessly to provide companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most and it's only with your help that they can continue to make a difference. There are so many ways to help within the organisation from helping with shopping through to running national events.
Head to the Age UK website at ageuk.org.uk to find out how you can bring your skills into the charity
Meath Epilepsy Charity
Meath Epilepsy Charity work hard to offer support for those who live with complex epilepsy and for those who care for them as well. They offer a range of accommodation and support services with the specific aim of helping people live safely as well as work towards gaining more independence. For a chance to help out and see what you can do phone their Volunteer Co-ordinators, Erica Moulton and Andrea Hill on 01483 415095.
You can also find information on their website www.meath.org.uk
Surrey Against Domestic Abuse
Surrey Against Domestic Abuse (SADA) is a multi-agency partnership, made up of organisations that deal, either directly or indirectly, with the effects of domestic abuse. They do amazing work helping people through the struggle of domestic abuse and rely on volunteers to help run and fund this important work. SADA have loads of ways you can be involved, helping to support the work of Surrey’s domestic abuse outreach services. You can help run a support group or befriend someone who’s separated from an abusive partner, fundraise or help staff the YourSanctuary
Surrey 24 hour helpline.
Check out surreyagainstda.info for ways to help.
The rise and growth of modern computers and technology has been exponential and daunting to those who may have struggled to keep up. Digital Buddies offers help using computers independently, helping people undertake basic computing tasks like file management, navigating and searching the internet as well as using emails and basic use of Microsoft Word. You can get involved through your local library.
The Good Neighbour Scheme
The Good Neighbour Scheme do an amazing job providing community care and support for anyone who needs help with all those tricky parts of day-to-day living. You can donate your time helping neighbours with things like shopping, getting to appointments, pension and prescription collection or even just filling in confusing forms.
If you would like to volunteer for a scheme, contact Vicki Turton at 01483 447121 and she will signpost you to your nearest scheme or if you want to start a new scheme.
Surrey Wildlife Trust
Surrey Wildlife Trust manages almost 8000 hectares of land in Surrey (5% of the county.) They speak up for wildlife and share their knowledge of wildlife at every opportunity, through education services to schools, adult learning courses and events.As a volunteer you can join a network of nearly 2,000 like-minded people who are involved in protecting Surrey’s wildlife and countryside. Whether you can spare a few hours or a full day, you can make a positive contribution to improving your local area, while learning useful skills, making new friends and increasing your knowledge of wildlife conservation.
Visit surreywildlifetrust.org to find out how you can help.
Oakleaf is the only mental health charity in Surrey working as a social enterprise to provide vocational training for those suffering from mental health issues. They offer training in horticulture, upholstery, IT and print finishing, enabling people to acquire new skills and ultimately return to work with renewed confidence.
Volunteers with abilities in those and other skills are always hugely appreciated by the charity as are those able to help at vital fundraising events.
Visit oakleaf-enterprise.org to find out how you can help.