Joanna and Celia describe their experiences as Age UK Norfolk Volunteers
Joanna, an Age UK Norfolk Advocacy Service Volunteer
“When I started as an Age UK Norfolk Advocacy volunteer, I was newly retired from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital where I worked as a health care assistant on an elderly ward. I trained as a nurse in the late sixties, but went into for primary school teaching for 14 years before returning to hospitals. I am married with four adult children.
I decided to volunteer for Age UK Norfolk because I enjoyed working with older people and wanted to do something practical that would help individuals retain their independence.
I feel I am doing something useful in advocacy and get a lot of positive feedback from clients. I have learnt new skills and my knowledge continues to grow. I also enjoy liaising with Age UK Norfolk staff, who are enormously supportive.
For me, the best part of being a volunteer is that I am doing something task-based that benefits individuals. I'm not just having a chat, although I do that as well.
I would say to someone considering volunteering for Age UK Norfolk to go for it. You will receive good support, training, and always be given the opportunity to say no if you don't want to do something. There is always someone to help you deal with new situations. It is rewarding work and good fun.”
Celia, an Age UK Norfolk Money Matters Service Volunteer
“I took early retirement from a job in IT and after spending several years in France decided to return to the UK. I did not want or need to go back to work but felt some kind of voluntary part time work would be a good idea. I happened to see an advert asking for volunteers for Age UK Norfolk in respect of Money Matters and Advocacy. It immediately struck a chord. This was something I could do.
I rang up, had a chat, got sent the application forms and was invited to attend an Induction day. I am very impressed at how professional Age UK Norfolk is. I have gained a sense of belonging to an organisation of which I am proud.
I visit clients in their home and am still a relative novice so it is very good to know that if I am not sure about anything help is only a phone call away.
Where possible I also try to build a bit of rapport with the client. If I can get them to smile or laugh then I think their day will have been enhanced and I leave feeling good about myself.
I would encourage anyone thinking of volunteering to enquire as to what areas Age UK Norfolk needs volunteers for. They have a very professional approach and they offer several different service areas. One would be sure to be right for you!”
Find out more about volunteering with Age UK Norfolk