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Volunteers needed to help older people in Avon and Somerset

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Avon and Somerset Police help put older people in touch with Royal Voluntary Service

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens is supporting older people's charity Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) in calling for more volunteers to join their pilot telephone befriending scheme in Avon and Somerset to help combat loneliness among older people in the community.

Avon and Somerset Police put vulnerable older people who may not have friends or family living nearby in touch with Royal Voluntary Service.  Volunteers will call once or twice a week for a chat and will also use the opportunity to put the older people who use the service in touch with other support networks and services within their local community. This vital point of contact aims to enable older people to stay independent at home and active within the community.

There is currently a waiting list of older people waiting to use the service and the charity is calling for more volunteers to reach as many vulnerable and older people as possible.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Volunteers play a vital role in helping deliver valuable services that otherwise would cease to exist. To an older person the help and support a volunteer can offer is their lifeline to evading loneliness and keeping their independence. I would encourage people to strongly consider the opportunities that volunteering can offer and becoming someone that makes a difference to the life of an older person.”

Laura Goringe, Royal Voluntary Service locality manager for Bristol and Somerset said: “This vital service provides a friendly caring voice at the end of the phone and helps older and vulnerable people who might not see friends and family often to increase their social contact with the local community. We urgently need volunteers to support more older people in the community.”

Royal Voluntary Service supports over 100,000 older people each month to stay independent in their own homes for longer with tailor made solutions. Through its army of 40,000 volunteers, the charity runs services such as Good Neighbours (companionship), Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that alleviate loneliness and help older people. Royal Voluntary Service also provides practical support for older people who have been in hospital through its On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services. Royal Voluntary Service Bristol and Somerset runs Good Neighbours (companionship including Telephone Befriending), Social and Lunch clubs and Home Library Service.

For more information about Royal Voluntary Service volunteering opportunities or services in Bristol and Somerset please call 01275 400945 or visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

 

Posted on Thursday 20th March 2014
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