From providing companionship to helping out with transport, there are plenty of ways you can do #BagsMore for your senior community. But which is right for you? To help you decide, we’re outlining five rewarding ways you can get involved.
1. Share your skills
There are plenty of skills out there which can help improve the lives of your senior community. Not sure you possess any? Well, services in demand include everything from providing computer training courses to offering handyman services. Many smaller charities are also often in need of help with marketing and PR, so take a look at your chosen charity’s website to find out what skills they’re currently in need of – you might be surprised at what you have to offer!
2. In person befriending
One of the most fulfilling ways to help out your local seniors is to become a befriending volunteer. Requiring you to set aside 30 minutes to an hour of your time per week, befriending volunteers pop round to an older individual’s home to have a good natter.
A brilliant way to reduce loneliness amongst the older people in your area, you’ll be directly improving someone’s quality of life. You’ll probably have to undergo a training or induction period before you start, but this role would be perfect if you consider yourself to be chatty, friendly and reliable.
Want to know more about befriending? Read our blog, 3 things to know before you become a befriending volunteer.
3. Over the phone befriending
If you haven’t got quite as much time on your hands, you can still befriend people in your senior community over the phone. Charities such as Age UK and Independent Age facilitate telephone befriending, allowing volunteers to call members of their senior community who they’ve been matched with. Only requiring 30 minutes of your time per week, you can make a huge difference to individuals who are lonely and socially isolated.
4. Make an extra portion
If you’ve got an elderly neighbour living on their own, they might appreciate it if you share a meal with them once in a while. Why not pop round with an extra plate of warm lasagne, or a frozen casserole they can heat up in the microwave? Either way, you’ll be giving them some company and saving them the trouble of cooking for themselves.
Alternatively, you can use the Casserole Club to find an older person near you, and share your food with strangers in a safe, community-friendly way.
5. Offer your transport services
There are a number of charities and hospices around the UK which need volunteers to get individuals to social events, hospital appointments, and out and about in their community. If you’ve got access to a car and are an experienced driver, you can make a big difference to an individual’s life by simply getting them from A to B. Just make sure you check with your insurer before you take the wheel.
As well as the UK-wide charities that support our senior communities, there may also be smaller ones in your area which you can help too. How do you do #BagsMore for older people near you? Let us know via Facebook and Twitter.