Volunteer Stories

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Volunteers make a real difference in our homes and clubs throughout the year, and we’d like to acknowledge the amazing contribution they make to our whole organisation.

“We are lucky to have volunteers working in all areas of Brendoncare, giving their time and expertise in so many ways, whether entertaining residents in our homes, leading activities in our community clubs, or providing much needed telephone support to those at home. Their energy and enthusiasm is invaluable and allows us to make such a positive difference – we can’t thank them enough!”

Marianne Wanstall, Chief Executive

Here are a few stories from some of our volunteers:

Bill - Hillside and Wymering Kurling Club

Bill was born in Stirling, Scotland. He joined the Royal Navy in 1972, and left in 1996, after which he worked for the NHS in various administrative roles until he took early retirement. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, visiting interesting places, photography and playing the Bagpipes! And of course volunteering for Brendoncare… He says it was his wife Eileen who told him about the Hillside and Wymering Kurling Club:

“My wife brought a flyer home about the club, and I went along. I enjoyed it so much, I became a volunteer for Brendoncare while I was still working, as I had Mondays free. Viv, who ran the group, decided to leave, and asked if I’d like to run it myself. I said ‘Yes’ and I’ve been doing it for over a year now. I like to see people enjoying themselves; the elderly should not be forgotten! My group is small, friendly and enjoys a good chat and Kurling. We enter competitions, although we never win, but as I say, ‘It’s not about winning, but taking part!’”

Wendy – Brendoncare Knightwood

“I’m very aware of the benefit of volunteers in care homes. My father was in a home and I saw first hand what a difference volunteers can make. We can be a listening ear – someone not in uniform that residents feel they can chat to.“

“I enjoy chatting and building relationships with the residents and naturally, some have become friends.”

Wendy is a volunteer at Knightwood Court in Chandler’s Ford where she spends a lot of time with the residents and helps with the refreshments. She trained as a garden designer at Sparsholt and has enjoyed sharing this interest with residents, helping some with the garden areas outside their rooms.

Bill & Beryl – Brendoncare Clubs

“It’s good to fill your time and stay busy. We just like helping others – maybe one day they’ll help us.“

Husband and wife, Bill and Beryl Bates are both in their nineties and have been volunteering for over 50 years with organisations such as the British Red Cross, the Scouts and, more recently, Brendoncare Clubs. They enjoy settling members in and serving the refreshments at the Good Companions Pub club in Southsea every week.

Kate – Central Office

“It’s fun volunteering at Brendoncare because they’re a friendly, welcoming bunch. It feels good to be part of a team and to do something useful for a good cause.“

Kate runs a language school in Winchester and volunteers at Brendoncare’s central office once a week, helping organise the photo library.

Penny – Brendoncare Clubs

“I’m a very different person since volunteering. I would never have talked to people unless they talked to me first. Now I play an active part – organising and scoring for kurling, buying the biscuits, helping to organise day trips out, organising the birthday list and getting to know new members who might not know anyone. People are so lovely when they get to know you. I don’t just volunteer to be useful, I get so much out of it. I come here because I get as much fun out of it as the members do!“

Penny, a former graphic designer, has volunteered at several clubs, including Cosham Kurling club, Emsworth kurling club, the Good Companions Pub club and more recently, Emsworth Keep Fit 2. Moving to a new area some years ago, she credits volunteering as a big factor in making her comfortable in an area she didn’t know.

Gilly – Knightwood

“Volunteering has really opened my eyes and has definitely changed my opinion of care homes. My Mondays wouldn’t be the same without it. Volunteering at Knightwood is fun! It is a delight to meet older people who still have a sense of humour, who remember what they did and who share memories of their past – you carry on learning from them. You definitely get out as much as you put in. I enjoy working together with others and I don’t want to let people down. Most importantly, I’ve learned to cut cake equally so there are no squabbles!“

Gilly was originally encouraged to volunteer by a friend and has been helping run the weekly coffee morning and afternoon tea at Brendoncare Knightwood for over ten years. Having worked previously in London, she was keen to do something different but wanted to interact with people.