During the height of the pandemic, Age Cymru delivered a Welsh Government funded pilot project to recruit and train volunteers to help visitors with PPE and other safety guidelines when visiting loved ones in care homes.
Now that restrictions have been lifted some of the volunteers have moved across to support residents with a range of activities, hobbies, and interests. And both the care home sector and Age Cymru believes that care homes across Wales could benefit enormously from making better use of volunteers.
The charity developed a toolkit to support care homes and other organisations who manage volunteers. It was designed to help them recruit, retrain, and develop their volunteers with a range of guidance from safeguarding and the induction process to understanding the needs of residents and becoming dementia aware, and everything else in between!
Benefits of volunteering
Volunteering provides an opportunity to meet new people, improve personal skills, take on a new challenge or simply have some fun! It can also provide an opportunity for people to give something back to their community, improve their feeling of self-worth, and gain self-confidence. For others, volunteering can be an important part of the transition into retirement from paid work, whilst for others it can be a route back into paid work.
Volunteering can also provide opportunities for leading employers as part of their wider corporate social responsibility commitments, which is good for the company’s brand reputation as well as improving staff motivation and levels of satisfaction.
Age Cymru’s Care Home Network Manager Suzy Webster says:
“Care Homes, their staff and residents and visitors suffered more than most during the pandemic. Many of the staff are still exhausted from having to cope with the unprecedented challenges, while many residents had to survive the period often without seeing their loved ones and without access to many of the social activities they would normally undertake.
“It is therefore up to all of us to help care homes recover from the pandemic and one of the best ways we can do this is through becoming an activities volunteer.”
For more information about becoming a care home volunteer please email email@example.com