By volunteering with Contact the Elderly you can find enjoyment and fulfilment in helping to make a real difference to the lives of older people who are otherwise isolated from family and friends.
How it works
Once a month, normally on a Sunday afternoon, each older guest is collected from their home by a volunteer driver, and taken to a volunteer host’s home, where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the charity’s drivers and older guests remain the same.
This means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.
You can read about the three different ways to volunteer with Contact the Elderly below, or get started straight away by filling in the application form here.
Volunteer with your car
Drivers collect the same older guest/s each month and take them to a different local host’s home where they all enjoy an afternoon tea party. There are usually three to five drivers in a group and there are sometimes also one or two reserve drivers to cover for holidays and emergencies.
Requirements: All you need is a full driver’s licence, a valid insurance and access to a car. As a driver we ask you to supply two references and we also take out a Criminal Record Bureau check (CRB) before you start as a volunteer.
Your commitment: We ask our drivers to commit to three to four hours one Sunday a month and to contact their elderly passenger/s a few days before the monthly gathering to make sure they know when they are going to pick them up.
Host a group
Hosts provide a warm welcome and a simple afternoon tea lasting between two to three hours for six to nine older guests and their drivers (three to five drivers). Often hosts involve family and friends and two or three generations join in.
Requirements: The only essentials are a big teapot, a downstairs toilet and easy access to your house (e.g. not too many steps to your front door).
Your commitment: We ask hosts to commit to one or two tea parties a year – more if they want. The volunteer coordinator (see below) will call to check dates and other arrangements and nearer the time will confirm how many guests to expect.
Coordinate a group
Coordinators ensure everything runs smoothly each month. Coordinators are also often volunteer drivers too.
Coordinators organise the monthly group outings by liaising with the hosts and the drivers so that everyone is clear about the time, date and place. After the drivers have been called by the coordinator, they in turn contact their older guest/s.
Support and advice for coordinators is readily available from Head Office or the Regional Development Officer, if required.
Requirements: We ask all group coordinators for two references and we also take out a CRB check before you start as a volunteer.
Your commitment: The coordinator role is very important, but it only takes a little extra regular commitment each month in addition to the outing. There are up to 15 older guests and volunteers relying on you! It is the coordinators job to be organised and keep everyone informed.
Other volunteering activities
There is also sometimes scope to help us in our National Office with various administrative tasks.
Contact us for more information or complete our contact form to let us know what you are interested in and we will be in touch with you.