Volunteers’ Week 2020 takes place on 1-7 June and Carer Support Wiltshire is taking the opportunity to thank the more than 100 volunteers currently working for the organisation who help to run vital services for unpaid carers.

Carer Support Wiltshire volunteers work in a number of roles, from photography and design to admin and running regular meet-ups and befriending services for carers. Some volunteers are former carers who are using their knowledge and experience of caring for a loved one to help others in similar situations. During the current pandemic, many have turned their hand to supporting carers over the phone and at virtual carer cafes hosted online.

Lindsey Millen, Volunteer Recruitment and Carer Involvement Co-ordinator said: “Volunteers show their support for us every day and, at this unprecedented time, have come forward in the community to help residents, neighbours, family, friends and essential services throughout our county. We’d like to say a big thank you to them all.”

As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing too. It can also help with gaining valuable new skills and experiences, and boosting confidence

Volunteer Catharine Dawson, Devizes said: “I chose to volunteer for Carer Support Wiltshire because I have experience as a parent carer and – later – became wholly responsible for sorting out my elderly mother’s hospital and care needs. Both of these made me aware of how helpful it is to have support.

“I enjoy meeting other carers who I wouldn’t otherwise meet in a month of Sundays. At the support sessions we not only often advise and commiserate with each other but also have a very good laugh!”

Susan Davies, Melksham started volunteering for Carer Support Wiltshire and now works as part of the admin team. She said: “I found myself in a position where, due to caring responsibilities, I needed to give up working. I cared full time for nearly four years. There were many volunteer roles within the organisation and you can use the skills you may already have.

“This gave me an amazing opportunity to ease myself back into the workplace to try and rebuild confidence, learn new skills and interact with others. It was lovely to have another outlet other than home, and I was fortunate at a later stage to be offered a position as a bank employee.”

If you are interested in volunteering for Carer Support Wiltshire, you can find out about current vacancies at carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/get-involved/volunteer or call 0800 181 4118.