Celebrating Volunteers' Week - with Jane Langley
Usually carrying out up to 100 visits to older people in our communities every week, our team of volunteers is a huge force for good at the St Monica Trust.
Over the last few weeks, they have continued to go above and beyond while replacing visits with phone calls, letter writing and more. As we approach National Volunteers' Week volunteer coordinator Jane Langley shares more about the roles carried out by these very important people.
"Most of our volunteers give at least two hours every single week to enhance the lives of our residents."
A message from Volunteer Coordinator, Jane
"The first week in June marks Volunteers’ Week. I have been Volunteer Coordinator for St Monica Trust since August last year and the energy, imagination and care shown by our volunteers never ceases to amaze me.
We have 120 volunteers who work across our 5 sites. These volunteers range from students to retired local people, from a variety of backgrounds, countries and cultures. Many have a visiting role and others assist by taking part in enrichment activities, social events and worship. During any given week there are up to 100 visits to residents across the St Monica Trust. Most of our volunteers give at least two hours every single week to enhance the lives of our residents.
There have been some wonderful initiatives this year including volunteers recruited from our very own retirement villages who, along with Bristol University students, facilitate a memory group with care home residents. A true example of inter-generational engagement!
I would like to extend my very best wishes to all the volunteers who make such a contribution to St Monica Trust residents. Since our sites closed to visitors, I know many volunteers have kept in touch by phone, letter or Skype. Residents are missing the regular visits from volunteers and I know the volunteers are missing coming in too! Volunteers form a much-valued part of the St Monica Trust family and I cannot wait until we can welcome them back.
In the absence of a volunteers celebration event, which has had to be postponed, I would invite you to read what some of our volunteers have written below. Follow the link at the bottom of the page if you would like to explore volunteering here at the St Monica Trust. I send you my very warmest wishes."
Jane Langley, Volunteer Coordinator
"When I first volunteered for St Monica Trust I knew being patient listener would be helpful, but I did not realise that it was an advantage to be a contemporary of most residents... One resident I visit was keen on sport. It transpired that we played cricket for the same club, probably for the same team!"
"I have volunteered with St Monica Trust for about 10 years now. In that time I have visited 3 residents and enjoyed my time visiting immensely. I have learnt so much from each of the residents whom I had got to know. I learnt a lot about myself as well! The sense of home, a caring community and respect has always been a feature of my experience. I look forward to a time when we can all be together again and enjoy the community that is St Monica Trust.”
"Every Monday morning for the last seven years I have run a craft group for residents across the site at Cote Lane. The group is not just a craft group, it is a chance for residents to meet and share their various skills swap ideas and enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed and happy atmosphere. We have a lot of fun and always stop for a welcome cup of coffee and biscuits halfway through the morning. I consider it a great privilege to work with the group on a variety of different crafts at different levels. Everyone is well, and all abilities catered for and I can honestly say that I get as much from the group as they do, if not more!”
"I came to South Africa in March to look after my sister who is unwell. I was due to return on 14 May initially but, of course, COVID struck and lockdown followed. So for now I send letters to both residents [which I befriend] roughly every 2 weeks via a friend of mine in Bristol. I attach them to her email, she prints and posts them. Then the team at the retirement village delivers them to each resident. From Cape Town to their front door, just like that."
Explore volunteering at St Monica Trust
From lending a hand at a coffee morning, to sharing your love of gardening, there’s plenty of ways to get involved as a volunteer at the St Monica Trust. Why not get in touch with our team to discuss ways in which you could help by building relationships with the older people in our communities?