Volunteering is a win-win for Dede

Volunteering is a win-win for Dede

Dede Stephens loves working as a volunteer at Woodland House in St Austell.

 

The home looks after people in need of dementia care or residential support and, as a retired carer herself, Dede is more than happy to chat to residents, help out at mealtimes or do some gardening. Together with another volunteer, she has also taken a resident to a local garden centre for the day.

 

Whilst she gives her own time freely, Dede says she is more than rewarded by the whole experience.

 

“I love going to Woodland – it’s very good for me,” she said. “The staff bend over backwards to make sure I’m okay and are absolutely amazing. Led by Emma, the manager, there’s a great sense of community that I really enjoy being part of.”

 

Dede joined Woodland House through Cornwall’s CareNow scheme. Commissioned by the NHS and hosted by Cornwall Care, CareNow was created earlier this year to act as a single point of access for people wanting to do voluntary work in care homes.

 

The service now has around 130 volunteers registered and has so far organised more than 500 volunteer hours in the county’s care homes.

 

“We provide some training as required and match volunteers and homes based on locality and skills,” said Andrew Blight, Volunteer Service Manager. “There are a lot of activities to get involved in – including chatting over a cup of tea, playing a game, tidying up the garden and generally providing an extra pair of hands.

 

“Volunteers range in age from 16 upwards and DBS checks are carried out for safeguarding reasons.

 

“CareNow is the only scheme of its kind in the sector, and we’re delighted with the enthusiastic response we’ve had from every corner of Cornwall.

 

“It’s all about community – reaching out to help other people and, in so doing, helping ourselves as well.”

 

Andrew and his team are happy to hear from individuals and homes interested in finding out more. Visit www.carenowvolunteers.org for details or call 01872 597778.

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