A leading housing association is inviting people to make 2017 the year they make a difference to someone’s life by volunteering.
Pickering and Ferens Homes has opportunities for up to 25 people to join its new volunteering programme, P.A.V.E (Positive Ageing Volunteer Experiences), which aims to provide opportunities that will ‘Pave the Way’ for people to make links with others, share knowledge, skills and learn new things.
Volunteers will have a broad spectrum of opportunities to get involved with including arts and craft groups, supporting lunch clubs, befriending services, office and reception work, music sessions and exercise activities including health walks and movement to music.
Claire Champlin, health and wellbeing manager, said the volunteering programme will provide different opportunities where people can get involved with rewarding work, which she says will greatly enrich the lives of others, including Pickering and Ferens Homes residents as well as the volunteers themselves.
Miss Champlin said: “Volunteering is one of the best ways to give something back to the community and have an impact that can last a life time, especially on health and wellbeing.
“The opportunities will help people gain confidence by giving them the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement, as well as helping them to meet different kinds of people of various ages and backgrounds.
“We have a wide variety of volunteer roles that can suit people’s personal or work commitments. You don’t need to have specific skills or qualifications, the most important requirements are enthusiasm, a passion to support Pickering and Ferens Homes work and some free time.”
Pat Norfolk, a Pickering and Ferens Homes resident, knows all about the benefits of volunteering after 20 years helping out at Age UK Hull’s Healthy Living Centre.
She said: “Volunteering is a very rewarding experience. After being retired for so many years, I had a sense of purpose again and I really enjoyed belonging to a team.
“It not only gave me a focus, it also provided an opportunity to get out and about, meet new people, make friends, learn new skills and build self-esteem and confidence.
“I would encourage anyone looking to increase their feelings of self-worth and have fun whilst doing it to sign up now.”
Eileen Norris, is the first person to sign up to P.A.V.E and says she is really hoping to make a positive impact on people’s lives and is most looking forward to the befriending side of the volunteer programme. .
She said: “I know there are a lot of lonely people out there, sat in their homes by themselves, and it only takes one person to a make a difference.
“It’s the simple things, having someone to share a cup of tea and a laugh with goes a long way and can make a person feel like they have a life worth living – if I can do that it would be a pleasure.”