Helping those in need and gaining new skills

Assistant manager Tracie Mawer and shop assistant Vikki Gregory at Stamford's Age UK store EMN-161228-130929001
Assistant manager Tracie Mawer and shop assistant Vikki Gregory at Stamford's Age UK store EMN-161228-130929001

People of all ages are being urged to consider volunteering – to help raise vital charity funds and to connect with their local community.

Age UK Stamford is hoping to attract those who have a few hours to spare each week to work either on the shop floor or behind the scenes.

Stamford's Age UK store EMN-161228-130916001

Stamford's Age UK store EMN-161228-130916001

As well as generating much-needed cash to support older people, the charity hopes it can reach out to older people seeking new challenges and companionship through volunteering.

Many Age UK volunteers help out because as well as supporting the charity’s work, they enjoy socialising and meeting new people.

Volunteering is a great way to form new friendships, learn new skills and feel part of a team – all helpful ways to combat loneliness.

The Age UK shop in St Paul’s Street, Stamford, has a small number of paid staff and a team of around 15 volunteers.

Assistant manager Tracie Mawer said: “Our volunteers play a hugely important role and we couldn’t manage without them.

“We have people of all ages who volunteer their time to help out. They range from students right through to those of retirement age and beyond.

“By volunteering, people are not only helping to support Age UK’s work, they are also able to gain valuable retail experience and customer care skills.

“Many like the opportunity to get out of the house, to meet new people, and to give their confidence a boost.”

Tracie, 50, added: “We are always keen to hear from people who are interested in becoming volunteers. Young or old, we can find a role for most people.”

Shop assistant Vikki Gregory, 36, volunteered for three years before being offered a paid, part-time role.

She said: “I had been out of work for a while and had lost a bit of confidence but volunteering gave me a huge boost.

“You get to know the regular customers and we have a great team of volunteers.

“Everyone is very friendly – we have a lot of fun.”

Steve Wooldridge, head of retail operations at Age UK, said: “We are very proud that volunteering provides people with a wonderful circle of support and friendship which helps tackle loneliness.

“Not only are volunteers the lifeblood of our shops, helping us to raise much-needed funds to provide vital support to older people, they themselves also draw a huge amount of support and companionship from their work colleagues.”

If you are interested in volunteering, visit the shop or call 01780 482154