AGEING Better Middlesbrough (ABM), a big lottery funded programme working to reduce loneliness and isolation in the town, celebrated its volunteers as part of Volunteer Week 2016
ABM’s Volunteer Development Officer Kelly Baxter said: “Today we have brought Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s staff and volunteers together to celebrate the fantastic support all of our volunteers give to the programme.
“It has been lovely to have the opportunity to get to hear everybody’s unique volunteering experiences. Our volunteers are amazing!”
The staff and volunteers had the chance to share stories over tea and sandwiches. We even had a quiz about Middlesbrough which brought out everyone’s competitive spirits!
Programme Manager Michelle Dawson thanked the volunteers: “It’s really important that your volunteer role makes you feel happy and fulfilled. At the end of the day, you can feel proud of the time and energy you have given to make a difference to someone else.”
Volunteer Helena, 63, said: “When I moved to Middlesbrough four years ago, I didn’t know anyone and worried about being on my own.
“Now I’ve found Ageing Better Middlesbrough there isn’t enough hours in the day! I feel part of the community. What’s not to like about volunteering! We may only give an hour here or there but never underestimate the value of that time.”
Volunteer Marjorie added: “In February 2014 I went to my first Ageing Better Middlesbrough Advisory Group meeting and I’ve attended ever since.
“I’ve been involved in recruitment, advising and going out with the team to meet people in the community.
“I’m now the chair of the Core Partnership! I’ve re-gained that feeling of being out in the world and committed to a programme that is helping older people in Middlesbrough.”
One of the younger volunteers, Shishi Zheng, 22, said: “Volunteering has enriched my experience about how to communicate with older people.
“I am glad to have the opportunity to help with many volunteers. I strongly appreciate to meet many nice people and work with them.”
Thanks to all the amazing volunteers who are helping to reduce loneliness and social isolation in Middlesbrough.
- Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can contact Kelly to find out more on 07505 209823 or visit the Ageing Better Middlesbrough website at www.ageingbettermiddlesbrough.org.uk