Volunteering is a great way to make friends, share your experience and develop new skills. For many people it’s also an opportunity to make a real difference, both for individuals and for your community. Whatever your reasons, being a volunteer at OWLS can be fun and very rewarding.
What would you like to do?
OWLS can offer you a range of different volunteering opportunities including:
Helping at groups
This role involves helping to run activities, support tutors, chat with OWLS members, make refreshments and serve food. If you have a hobby like playing music, taking photographs, or a skill that others could learn from, we’d love to know if you’re able to share it in one of our groups.
If you love driving this is an important role in helping tackle social isolation amongst older people. Our friendly drivers help hundreds of people get out and about each week. Before you commit yourself, we’ll ask you to shadow an experienced driver to get a feel for the role. All of our drivers receive training which includes MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme), wheelchair handling and first aid.
Our bus buddies are the modern day equivalent of a bus conductor, helping people to safely get on board the minibus, collecting fares and making sure things run smoothly. It’s always fun chatting to OWLS members and hearing their news. Bus buddies typically help for a few hours a week and you are vital in helping older people to stay active and independent. We will give you first aid, wheelchair-handling and Dementia Awareness training.
Like the bus buddies, we need people who can assist people on our weekly shopping service once they arrive at the supermarket. Some OWLS members may need a hand in the shop to choose supplies and get around the supermarket. Your role is vital in helping them stay independent. Typically a shopping assistant helps for a few hours a week or fortnight and we’ll give you some training in wheelchair handling first.
Volunteer befrienders visit people at home on a regular basis once a week or fortnight for an hour, during the daytime or evening, in the week or at the weekend. It’s a chance to chat, listen, and get to know an older person – and for the befriendee it can lift them out of loneliness. If you love meeting other people and are a good listener, you’ll be great at this role.
“When I open my curtains on a Tuesday morning I know the sun is going to shine because today is the day my befriender comes to visit.”
You can apply to volunteer with OWLS in any of these ways: