WHY VOLUNTEER ?
So why ………………… – written by one of our volunteer Good Neighbours
When my father died, I became acutely aware of my Mother’s vulnerability, even though she had a family to support and care for her.
I started to think a lot more about how other people might manage in her situation, especially if they were very much alone in life.
I made a commitment to give up a small amount of time to befriend someone who might benefit from some company and a friendly ear.
I’ve never regretted it. It’s a win-win situation for the lady I befriend and myself.
There is something very rewarding about ‘putting something back in life’, especially when you feel you’ve had a pretty good innings.
Cheesy, I know, but nevertheless true!
Making a Difference – written by one of our volunteer drivers (joined 2011)
When I retired I wanted to do some voluntary work. Volunteer driving gives me the flexibility I wanted, by not committing me to a regular day or time each week. Although, I am prepared to do local runs, I particularly enjoy taking clients farther afield, often to the hospitals in Oxford.
My family would say I like to talk, but as a driver I have now learned the joy of listening. The many clients have led such varied lives with such different experiences; I enjoy listening to stories and consider it a great privilege to share their memories.
I have heard so much about different parts of this country and abroad and have enjoyed funny, sad and surprising childhood memories and experiences.
I am very aware that I may be the only person my client talks to that day, so I hope to relieve a little loneliness or give some reassurance as we chat.
It has made me appreciate more sincerely the good health I have experienced so far in life. I have seen how illness can have life changing effects, often with a tinge of sadness when thinking of what life may have been like.
However, I have certainly been humbled by some clients who manage to live with their problems with dignity whilst maintaining a positive outlook and still able count their blessings.
Unfortunately, although we all want to be well cared for when we need help, it is often easy for us to feel too busy and unable to offer help needed by members of our community now.
I hope that my volunteer driving helps clients who need help now and with luck, there will be a volunteer driver available when I need a lift. Perhaps they may enjoy my stories about being a volunteer driver!
We love to hear stories and feedback from clients, particularly about some of the ways in which the WIAC has really made a difference to somebody…….please share these with us in writing, by phone or pop in and have a chat.
Volunteers’ Week 2017 – WIAC letter printed in the Herald, 31st May
A letter of Thanks & Recognition during Volunteers Week
We would like to publicly thank all Wantage Independent Advice Centre’s volunteers. At the WIAC we have over 100 volunteers; they are amazing and give their time and experience generously to improve the lives of other residents within our community.
The W.I.A.C is based in Wantage but helps and supports lots of people living in villages & towns within the Vale.
We run a Community Transport Scheme, volunteer drivers in their own cars, for elderly and infirm people. This scheme enables people to reach vital services such as Doctors, Hospitals, Day Centres & we also take them shopping*.
We run a Good Neighbour Scheme for people who might require a befriending volunteer because they are feeling lonely or isolated; we also help with paperwork and other small tasks. We can also help liaise with specialist agencies.
We offer FREE, confidential Advice on a host of subjects including Debt & Benefits.
As the paid, part-time Operational Managers of this service we are indebted to the dedication, professionalism & thoughtfulness of our volunteers and the empathy they have for our clients. Many people do not understand that they give their time freely and willingly and without them the Centre could not operate or provide this valuable service to the residents of the Vale.
We would like to thank our chairman Mr Peter Harbour for steering the Centre through these challenging times. Peter offers us time as a volunteer advisor as well as a volunteer trustee.
A big thank you to those that are already volunteering and if you have any spare time please come and join our happy team. If you would like to find out more about the WIAC and how it supports people in your community please go to our web site www.wantageadvice.org.uk or come along to our annual general meetings held each June.
Wendy Watson & Pamela Roscoe (Joint Operations Managers)
*There is a small fare for the transport service.