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Our volunteers make the world of difference to the people in our care. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to have volunteers in our Homes due to COVID-19, but we still want to appreciate all the fantastic work our volunteers do for us.

Frank Hughes

“The veterans have led interesting lives and the Homes try to prolong those interests. I get satisfaction from supporting that.”

Frank has been a volunteer at the Solihull Home for nine years. Having retired from the aerospace industry, Frank was looking for a challenge to keep him busy. As his grand-father fought and was injured in the First World War and his father served in the Seaforth Highlanders in the Second World War, Frank felt that volunteering to help veterans was a great way to give something back.


Frank gladly turns his hand to any activity, from arts and crafts to quizzes, and enjoys assisting with the many outings on offer. His favourite part of the role is the befriending aspect: he enjoys taking time to chat to residents and find out more about their remarkable lives. He has made several special friendships in this way.


Frank is enthusiastic about the new initiatives which staff and volunteers devise to encourage the residents to continue enjoying their hobbies and interests.

“I think the Home is fabulous. There is a warm, friendly atmosphere. All the staff are splendid, and the residents delightful. Royal Star & Garter is a wonderful charity and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”

Jules Bendell, Volunteer


Surbiton Activities Manager, Raquel organised an interactive choir session with residents and 14 of our volunteers, using video conferencing tool Zoom.


“It was such a lovely event. You could see in the faces of the residents just what it meant to them. Music is such a powerful tool and it is certainly something we will arrange again.”


John & Lesley Parvin

“You get to know all the residents and carers well – we have a laugh. You can learn a lot from our veterans. Some of the things they chat about, their experiences, they are inspirational.”

John and Lesley have been volunteering for the Charity for over 20 years and are valued members of our volunteer team in Surbiton.


In 1993, the Parvins were visiting Lesley’s father in the old Richmond Home when they were invited to join in a wheelchair dancing session. They were inspired by this experience to support the many activities offered by the Home.


In the past, John and Lesley helped to take residents on trips to the seaside or to Belgium and France in a bus. The trips were great fun and often therapeutic for everyone involved. As John recalled: “One holiday, we took the residents swimming and, as we helped one resident, who never spoke, into the water, he started singing Rock of Ages. He sang it all the way through and made everyone cry.”

"It doesn't matter if residents don't remember me, because I remember them. I remember their stories, what makes them laugh, what they treasure and I remember their memories."

Maggie, Volunteer

In 2018, Betty Johnson, a volunteer at Royal Star & Garter was awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for her service to charities and non-profit organisations.


Betty first started volunteering for us in 2000 at our Richmond Home after her husband, who was a resident there, passed away. She now volunteers at our Surbiton Home and over the years has assisted with a variety of roles and tasks.

Terry Wild

“I volunteered in order to give something back but I get so much out of it myself. The rewards are incredible."

Terry volunteers at our Solihull Home: “Here there are dedicated staff delivering the latest approach to therapies, activities and nursing care which is tailored to each resident’s needs – it feels like The Royal Star & Garter Homes leads the field in dementia care.


People here are amazing. I don’t know if it is their military background but they have such grit and determination.”