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Not Laura and Jeffreyvolunteer and older man

This year, Age UK worked in partnership with BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra on their #1millionhours campaign, which aimed to encourage listeners to pledge one million hours of volunteering time. We meet one listener, Laura Graham who volunteers for Age UK Northamptonshire.

Laura, how did you first hear about #1millionhours?

I kept hearing about it on Radio 1. I’d been wanting to volunteer for a while. I work with people who are trying to get back into work and we encourage them to develop life skills through volunteering. So I know all about the benefits of volunteering. #1millionhours made me think, ‘I must do this now!’

What motivated you to choose to volunteer for your local Age UK?

I know there is a problem with isolation amongst older people. I don’t think there is the same sense of community as there used to be. At the moment, I’m volunteering for Age UK Northamptonshire’s hospital aftercare service, which offers support to people after a hospital stay. I’ve helped Dorothy and now Jeffery, doing their weekly shop and spending time chatting to them in their homes.

How does volunteering make you feel?

I feel guilty because I think I get more out of volunteering than the people I’m helping! It gives you an enormous sense of wellbeing. As cheesy as it sounds, you’re really helping someone in their hour of need.

What lessons have you learnt?

People have lived such interesting lives. Jeffery was a deep sea fisherman. I’d never have known that when I first met him. Volunteering is teaching me that if only people spend time talking to older people, they will see that there’s a massive story behind that person.

Volunteer with us

We help more than 7m people every year, providing companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most. It’s only with your help that we can continue to make a difference.

Go back to Annual Review 2015: #ProudtobeAgeUK

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081

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