Link Age Southwark (formerly Dulwich Helpline) provides friendly, volunteer support to older, isolated people locally – is lucky to have a steady trickle of new volunteers but that we are currently experiencing an increase in referrals and our new service users frequently ask, in particular, for older women as befrienders and providers of transport. That is not say that volunteers in other gender/age brackets are not also extremely welcome!
Our website is at Link Age Southwark
The sorts of things that volunteers can get involved with are:
Befriending: Volunteers can regularly visit service users, on a one-to-one basis to offer friendship and sociability to those who cannot easily get out.
Gardening: Volunteer gardeners help service users with light gardening, cutting the lawn, weeding a flowerbed, or trimming the hedge.
Transport: Transport volunteers provide lifts to an older person, by car, to help them keep appointments and maintain a social life.
Groups and activities: 22 groups for older people across the area. These include; Reading Groups, Art Appreciation, Reminiscence, and Gentle Exercise. Drop-in Groups also offer the opportunity for meeting other people over light refreshments for sociability and conversation.
Practical help: Volunteers assist with simple practical tasks including accompanying someone on a shopping trip; reading newspapers; books or documents; and sorting small scale household maintenance e.g. changing light bulbs.
Fundraising and events: Reliable volunteers are needed to help out at regular fundraising events to do a variety of jobs.
Office help: Volunteers can come into the offices and help out with administrative tasks, to assist the smooth running of the organisation.
Befriending involves a regular commitment but many of the other things can be done very much on ad hoc basis, e.g. an email may go out to all transport volunteers simply saying “we have a Christmas party on X date, would any of you be free to transport someone to the party”. So someone might say yes to a request to something like that two or three times a year and that would be their sole (and very welcome) contribution.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please phone 0208 299 2623 or e-mail us on email@example.com