As part of Age UK’s No one should have no one at Christmas campaign, the Age UK shops in Kirkbymoorside, Pickering, Malton, and Helmsley are appealing to people in Ryedale who would like to connect with their community through volunteering.
These shops are hoping to attract new volunteers who would like to meet new people and have a few spare hours to offer each week, either behind the scenes or on the shop floor. As well as helping the charity generate much needed funds to support older people, Age UK hopes that it can reach out to older people seeking new challenges and companionship through volunteering.
In a recent survey, one third of Age UK volunteers said they volunteered in a shop because they enjoy socialising and meeting new people. Volunteering is a great way to form new friendships, learn new skills and feel part of a team – all helpful ways to combat loneliness.
Stewart Cox has been volunteering in an Age UK shop for 16 months and has benefitted enormously. He says:
It’s got me back into meeting new people. Every day is a good moment! I didn’t realise how lonely people were, especially the older people that come into the shop. I get a chair and put it next to the till and have a chat. I think that’s what Age UK is all about”.
New research from Age UK reveals that almost a million (982,200) of those aged 60+ feel lonelier at Christmas time, with those who are single, separated or widowed feeling it the most.
As the Charity publishes new figures showing the stark reality of loneliness amongst older people at this time of year, Age UK has released two short films with actors James Bolam MBE and Miriam Margolyes OBE narrating real life stories of loneliness to support Age UK’s No one should have no one at Christmas campaign. These poignant films are the real personal stories of Roy and Janet, who are supported by Age UK’s telephone befriending service that provides weekly friendship calls.
There are over 400 Age UK shops across the country, raising vital funds to support our work with older people. Our donors recycle unwanted goods, including clothing, accessories, toys and bric-a-brac. Volunteers are central to the success of these shops, which simply couldn’t operate without their generous support.
Steve Wooldridge, Head of Retail Operations at Age UK, said:
We are very proud that volunteering in our shops provides people with a wonderful circle of support and friendship which helps tackle loneliness. Not only are volunteers the lifeblood of our shops, helping us to raise much needed funds to provide vital support to older people, they themselves also draw a huge amount of support and companionship from their work and colleagues. Our volunteers also offer our customers a friendly greeting or a chat, which for many single, older people, is the only conversation they may have that day. We would urge anyone who feels that they have a few hours to spare and would like to meet new people, to come forward and join our team!”
For more information about volunteering with the Age UK shops in Ryedale please call Carol Holtby on 01751 431329 or e/mail email@example.com. To find your nearest shop visit: ageuk.org.uk/get-involved