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Charities Appeal For Volunteers

Published on: 22 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 22 Jun, 2016
A volunteer at Phyllis Tuckwell gives a foot massage to a patient.

A volunteer at Phyllis Tuckwell gives a foot massage to a patient.

Two local charities are appealing for more volunteers to step forward and provide important care and support tasks.

Phyllis Tuckwell say that volunteers are hugely important in helping provide the Hospice Care which it offers to local people who are living with a terminal illness.

Julia Morpeth, Phyllis Tuckwell’s Voluntary Services Manager said:  “We have around 1,000 volunteers, who help in many different roles throughout our organisation.

“Many work closely with our patients, offering professional expertise such as counselling, physiotherapy or nursing, while others undertake more general roles such as helping on reception or on the In-Patient Unit, tending to the gardens, or driving patients to and from Day Hospice sessions.”

The charity values its volunteers highly and is keen to utilise their broad range of abilities. “Many are looking for a way to develop their skills, re-train, or get back into work after having had some time off,” says Ms Morpeth.

“We have worked hard to develop a robust and comprehensive training programme for those who will be taking on a patient-facing role, as well as providing all of our volunteers with an overview of the care we offer our patients and relatives, at our induction days.”

Phyllis Tuckwell“We are indebted to our volunteers,” continues Ms Morpeth, “and we are confident in the support they provide because of the robust training they undertake.

“This training is delivered across our organisation by all of our managers, providing consistency and ensuring that we are able to offer a safe and effective service.

“It is one of the reasons that our volunteers enjoy helping here so much. By giving them this support, they are able to develop their skills, take on fulfilling roles and really feel that they are making a difference.”

With the help of these volunteers, and the dedication of Phyllis Tuckwell’s hard-working staff, the charity is able to care for over 250 patients, relatives and carers every day, at the Hospice, the Beacon Centre, and in patients’ own homes.

Anyone who would like a volunteering role which can offer you training and development, contact Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care to find out about current volunteer vacancies. Call Julia Morpeth on 01252 729431 or email:

Average age of volunteers increasing

Surrey Community ActionMeanwhile another charity, Surrey Community Action has found that the rising age of retirement has meant that there is a knock on effect on the average age of their volunteers.

Each year Surrey Community Action asks over 90 good neighbour schemes to complete a questionnaire to gauge demand for services across the county.

Together these schemes with nearly 5,000 volunteers help over 10,000 elderly and vulnerable people who find it difficult to use public transport to take them to medical appointments and local clubs and shops.

As well as showing an increase in demand for volunteer drivers, the survey revealed that over the last fifteen years, the average age of a volunteer driver has increased from 63 years to 71 years of age.

Surrey Community Action’s Voluntary Car Schemes Adviser Vicki Turton says: “As well working to a later age, many retirees who make up the majority of Surrey’s voluntary car drivers are also required to help with child-minding grandchildren before they have the free time to volunteer. This affects the number of drivers we are able to recruit which means that many schemes are in urgent need of more volunteers.”

Volunteering can be good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to improve mental wellbeing.

Becoming a volunteer driver is easy and volunteers can give as much or as little time as they choose, as well as decide the days and times during which they are available.

For more information visit: or call Vicki Turton on 01483 447121.


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