Praise for dedicated Huntingdonshire volunteers helping look after older people for Age UK

Kate, Peterborough community warden, at the home of Margot, one of the service users. Picture: AGE U

Kate, Peterborough community warden, at the home of Margot, one of the service users. Picture: AGE UK - Credit: Archant

Dedicated Age UK volunteers from Huntingdonshire are helping serve older people in the local community - from picking up prescriptions to fundraising walks.

The charity has almost 500 volunteers who dedicate their free time to assist older people with the aim of reducing loneliness and social isolation by sharing time together, providing friendship and support.

Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has 425 Sharing Time (befriending) who have adapted to changes during Covid-19 to make sure help is at hand.

Sixty local Sharing Time volunteers also signed up to support the hospital discharge service, which supports Hitchingbrooke and Peterborough City Hospitals.

Angie is an NHS occupational therapist from Ellington, near Huntingdon.

Along with her two children, Izzy, 21, and Matt, 22, they have been supporting several older people with their food shopping, collecting prescriptions and having phone calls regularly to keep them connected during this period.

As well as supporting older people, Angie has also been making scrubs and face masks for the NHS and other key workers.

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Volunteers have also been fundraising for Age UK, which has seen some services increase in demand of 200 per cent.

Inspired by Sir Captain Tom, Luke Claxton, from Hartford, organised a sponsored walk with fancy dress of either 5k or 10k in gardens or nearby green space.

The local community managed to raise an incredible £3750.

Luke said: “Of all the charities to help at a time like this I couldn’t have chosen a more worthwhile one and with it being local and helping our vulnerable elderly it means that little bit more.”

Melanie Wicklen, chief executive of Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said recent weeks had been “challenging, yet immensely rewarding”.

“Our army of local volunteers has been paramount in enabling us to continue to support our communities. Their resilience and ability to adapt during these difficult times has been fantastic,” she added.

“Many older people will be feeling more isolation and loneliness during these times, impacting their mental and physical wellbeing.

“With our network of volunteers, we aim to address these issues and make a positive difference in the lives of our county’s older people.”

National Volunteers’ Week runs until Sunday June 7.