Alloa volunteers donate over 3,000 hours of time to stamp out loneliness for elderly neighbours
Volunteering Matters’ Help at Hand befriending and handy person service celebrates second birthday
Alloa based project, Help at Hand, celebrates its second birthday this month (22 May 2017). The project, which recruits, trains and supports volunteers to make a real difference to the lives of older people throughout The Forth Valley area, has enabled over 3,000 hours of volunteer befriending and more than 450 handyperson visits over the past two years.
Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, the project develops befriending relationships between some of the most isolated older people in the community and committed volunteers. The programme also provides a handyperson service with volunteers doing odd jobs around the house from changing a lightbulb to putting up curtains, at the same time providing much appreciated company and chat.
Dave Budd, Volunteering Matters Development Co-ordinator, said: “Thanks to the continued support of our amazing volunteers, Help at Hand has, for the last two years, delivered real solutions to the crisis of loneliness and social isolation.
“Our handyperson volunteers not only help older people to maintain independence to live in their own homes, provide safety advice through trip, fire and hazard spot checks, but they also provide a source of community connectedness. Meanwhile, volunteer befrienders help isolated people to feel less lonely by supporting them to get out of the house and into new, local social groups or activities, creating lasting solutions for some of the loneliest people in the community.”
Help at Hand has been a remarkable success during the past two years with 92 per cent of older people surveyed feeling more socially supported because of having a befriender and 96 per cent of beneficiaries of the handyperson service feeling more confident living independently because of the service.
To find out how you can get involved visit: www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk
To hear some of our volunteers’ stories, watch our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUG_nWZAQGM&t=1s