Over the course of the last few months, we have been working hard to recruit new volunteers to support more carers, their loved ones and those most vulnerable or at-risk within our community.

We met up with Dionne Hilton, our volunteer coordinator who took time out to tell us a little bit about finding the perfect volunteer for those looking for friendship and support.

Have you had many people interested in supporting our community through volunteering?

We’ve had many people apply to volunteer, supporting people who are lonely with a befriending call and we’re hoping people will also support us to help more people through outreach like shopping and prescription collections.

What are the opportunities available for people who wish to volunteer?

We have three roles available. Befriending by phone, community outreach support and companionship in the home. Volunteers can choose to apply for a specific role, but this does not limit them as they can offer to help those they befriend in different ways as they get to know them over time.

How do we recruit and support volunteers in their role?

All prospective volunteers are invited to an informal chat where we discuss the volunteer opportunity and find out a little bit more about them and why they want to volunteer. We try our best to match volunteers with similar interests to those wanting to chat with a new friend. Volunteers who join up with Crossroads are supported with induction training, specific training for the volunteer roles including e-learning.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I find matching volunteers with people who want friendship by phone a little challenging, but also incredibly rewarding especially when I can pair two people with similar interests, such as a love of books or music for example.

Are many people waiting for a service?

We do have people who are asking for help with companionship in the home across all regions of the county. We do our very best to encourage those waiting to use the befriending call service whilst they are waiting.

How can your colleagues support you to ensure we can reach more people who really need our help this Christmas?

This Christmas we will be appealing for the community to back our project through volunteering or donation. If you see our communications, please help to spread the word by sharing the message with your friends and family.

Read our blog about the volunteering opportunities open to support our community. You can read the blog by clicking here.