Joni Mitchell, Volunteer Development Worker at Bield, takes a look at best practice for volunteers
Monday, June 18th, 2018
on behalf of Bield Housing And Care
PEOPLE VOLUNTEER for a variety of reasons; to give something back, to make a difference or to get some experience for their CV. Although these might be initial reasons for giving a helping hand, we find that we have many long‐term volunteers at Bield who continue to give their time because of the friendships formed with older members of the community.
From simply chatting with tenants, to teaching them new skills, these bonds have been proven to be crucial, as they help to stop isolation and loneliness setting in. But what you get out of volunteering is very much about what you put in.
We provide every new volunteer with a day of in‐depth training, with help on hand throughout their time at Bield. By offering guidance and a friendly face to feedback on any challenges, we aim to make volunteering as rewarding for the individual as it is for the tenants interacting with them.
We also strongly believe that we get the best out of our volunteers by encouraging them to be themselves. We do this by tailoring their experience to suit them; whether that be the flexibility of their volunteering hours, or by getting them to put one of their strengths or hobbies to good use.
From arts and craft to surfing the net and baking, we are lucky to have such a diverse group helping us, from all different backgrounds and age brackets.
The care industry has seen a surge in younger volunteers coming through the ranks. There is so much that different generations can teach one and other and involvement from younger volunteers keeps tenants on their toes.
We find that those who are drawn to volunteering have good social skills and ultimately want the best for the people they are helping. It can be a learning curve, but we always have staff on hand to help individuals develop their skillset.
Volunteers play a huge part in Bield’s overall success and we value each and every one of the individuals who donate their time to help older people get the most out of life. As well as skill development, we offer references and certificates to highlight that we recognise just how much of an impact they are making to our tenants’ wellbeing.
By becoming a volunteer you will not only be transforming the life of someone in need, but you may even develop a new skill or a build a friendship in the process.
Joni Mitchell is a Volunteer Development Worker at Bield, a leading provider of housing and support for older people throughout Scotland.
To find out more about volunteering at Bield, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/join‐us/volunteering