Our amazing volunteer Dulcie is 90 years old and provides befriending companionship to two clients – both younger than her, demonstrating that age is no barrier to volunteering.
We caught up with Dulcie to find out what volunteering means to her.
‘Why did I become a volunteer with Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale?
The Coronavirus crisis hasn’t stopped the Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale Welfare Rights service from carrying out its vital work. The service has continued to operate, albeit remotely, with our adviser completing application forms with clients by telephone before sending completed forms to them for signature and submission to the Department of Work and Pensions.
Eighty-three year old Cardiff resident Dawn lives alone. With complex health issues including partial sight and hearing loss, poor mobility as well as heart and lung conditions, Dawn was advised to shield at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak and ensuing lockdown.
Ruth’s mum, 91 year old Betty is disabled, lives independently alone in Penarth and has a care package arranged by Vale Social Services: three visits a day for personal care and shopping. Although deemed able to cope and understand she can be very confused and ‘unwell’.
Volunteer Nikki retired in 2016 after a long career in social services. As a member of her local church, Nikki had been involved in community support but she was also considering wider volunteering activity.
Chef Nikki, started shopping and ‘looking out for’ brothers Leonard and Ronald at the beginning of lockdown when she was furloughed. It was a match made in heaven, with Nikki finding the two brothers a delight to support and the brothers increasingly looking forward to each visit from Nikki.
Lesley’s father Michael is 80 years old and lives alone in Cadoxton, Barry. Michael is not in great health having had a stroke some years ago. However, he is quite independent and likes to get his own shopping, previously relying on taxis to take him places as he’s a bit unsteady on his feet.
Gaynor’s 71-year-old partner Pete lives in Barry while she is based some distance away in West Wales. When the Coronavirus crisis lockdown commenced, ensuring that Pete could obtain necessary groceries and medications was a great concern for Gaynor.
Trevor and his wife Ann are both 82 years old and live in Barry. Trevor’s son-in-law, Bill, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and was referred to Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale for support at the start of the Coronavirus lockdown. Volunteer Amanda was allocated to provide shopping support for Bill and his wife, Jan. Amanda became aware that Jan’s parents also required support and so now she shops for both couples with whom she has become firm friends.