This Volunteers Week we are celebrating the huge contribution volunteers make to our charity and to the lives of carers in Wiltshire.
Here Viv tells us how volunteering has given her a sense of purpose.
Viv Bass – volunteer at Carer Support Wiltshire’s carer cafés and Talk & Support service
I started to volunteer with Carer Support Wiltshire about ten years when my late husband was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Initially I attended the support group meetings, which helped me come to terms with the changes in our respective lives. Everyone was so helpful and kind, I knew I was amongst friends. When I was asked to help with cafes it was a pleasure to help and to try to repay some of the support I had received.
It has given me a rewarding sense of purpose and a realisation that there are so many people whose lives are so much more difficult and complicated than my own. It is lovely to build a rapport during “Talk and Support” calls and to feel people really appreciate the call and feel they can discuss their problems. I try to keep our chats as light-hearted as possible and give them something to chuckle about where appropriate.
I have been surprised by the number of people who thank me for calling and want to know that I am keeping well.
I love the challenge of the different aspects of volunteering. I like to keep in touch with the carers who attend carers cafe as we have no idea when we will meet up again. Also the contact with the carers is a big help to me now that I am on my own. I am quite self -sufficient but am a social animal and love the contact with people which I was used to in my working life.