Volunteer Stories: Derek and Sandy at Lakeside

Sandy has been volunteering at Lakeside for over a year and is very valuable to us. Here’s what she has to say:

“After my husband passed away, I said I’d like to give something back to the community. I also felt a little lost and my confidence was very low, and I needed something to get out of bed for. My daughter saw the advert for volunteers and pushed me to have a go.

I think the most rewarding thing about being with the residents is getting the moments of connection. When you get a lovely response from them and they often like holding hands and I’ve realised the importance of touch. It brings such warmth and joy.

If anyone is thinking of volunteering, I’d just say go for it! There’s so much benefit for both you and the residents. There’s so much laughter and joy here.”

Derek’s Experience as a Volunteer at Lakeside Care Home

Derek, is a dedicated volunteer at Lakeside Care Home, whose commitment to supporting residents has made a significant difference in their lives. Inspired by the positive environment and outstanding care he witnessed during visits to his mother, Derek decided to join the volunteer team.

One memorable experience for Derek involved spending over an hour with a resident who was feeling particularly down. His attentive presence and engaging conversation lifted her spirits, showcasing the profound effect of one-on-one interactions. Derek finds joy in getting residents to talk and smile, helping them recall and share cherished memories.

Volunteering has deeply impacted Derek’s perspective on aging and the elderly. He has come to appreciate the rich life experiences and knowledge each resident holds, regardless of whether they are living with dementia. This role has taught him invaluable life lessons in patience, respect, confidentiality, empathy, and equality.

Derek believes that volunteers play a crucial role in creating a sense of community within the care home. While the activity staff do an excellent job, volunteers like Derek provide additional interactions and activities, helping residents forge new friendships and reduce feelings of boredom and isolation.

To those considering volunteering in a care home, Derek advises embracing the experience with an open mind and heart. He emphasises the importance of patience and the joy of bringing smiles and laughter to the residents. According to Derek, volunteering is a mutually beneficial opportunity—it allows individuals to grow and expand their own world while positively impacting others.

Derek hopes his story inspires more people to volunteer. He highlights that each friendship formed, even if time-limited, holds immense value and contributes to a supportive, vibrant community at Lakeside Care Home.