As part of our Volunteers’ Week celebrations, we’re spotlighting different kinds of volunteering done in the Falkirk area. Today’s theme is Older People, who are the focus of groups like Polmont Age Concern.
Polmont Age Concern offers older people a variety of activities aiming to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing. The group is run by volunteers who organise a weekly “Wednesday Club” which provides members with entertainment, afternoon tea and outings, as well as an annual dinner and yearly fundraiser. They also visit housebound members who are ill with flowers and to offers of assistance.
Betty’s been a volunteer with Age Concern for 45 years. “I enjoy meeting people, and I feel that, volunteering with Age Concern, I’m doing something useful.”
“I’ve gotten to know so many people better through volunteering, and hopefully, we’ve helped them in some way.”
The wellbeing of their members is always forefront of the group’s minds, many of whom see their volunteering as a way of giving back to their local community. They describe volunteering and helping others as a rewarding experience.
“I get a lot of pleasure in seeing our members laugh and join in with the entertainment,” says Virginia, a volunteer of Age Concern for eight years. “People should definitely try volunteering – you’d be surprised at how much you enjoy it!”
“I like being involved in the community,” says Mary. “I like helping, and being involved in organising our events.” It’s something Alice echoes: “When you see how happy the members are because of the Wednesday Club, it makes it all worthwhile.”
According to Helen, who has volunteered with Age Concern for 13 years, “Volunteering gives you an insight into the needs of others,” which others in the group agree with.
Volunteering brings a variety of services, clubs and groups to the community, which many feel are essential to their wellbeing. The Wednesday Club enables older people to meet up once a week, to build and strengthen their connections with their communities and peer group. Doing so combats the possibility of social isolation in their members, and helps boost their wellbeing, mentally and emotionally.
So this Volunteers’ Week, why not think about joining groups like Polmont Age Concern, and helping work to better your community and the lives within it?
Clubs like the Wednesday Club need help, need volunteers to exist – “Why not us?” ask Mrs Longstaff. “Why not you?”
Sandra, who’s been with the group for 30 years, agrees. “The more you give, the more you get back! And it’s always good to help people.”