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Solihull

Charity caring for military veterans seeks new volunteers

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Frank Hughes wanted a new challenge, so he turned to volunteering at Solihull

A charity is appealing for more volunteers to help provide its award-winning care to military veterans at its care homes in Solihull and High Wycombe.

 

The Royal Star & Garter Home in Tudor Coppice currently has around 15 active volunteers who regularly help with the 50 weekly activities put on by the Charity. They speak of their enjoyment spending time with residents, making new friendships, and the rewards they get from giving up their free time. The Home in High Wycombe welcomed its first residents in April. It has received several volunteering enquiries but wants to hear from more people.

 

As part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 June – 7 June, the Charity would like to encourage more people to come forward and help.

 

The Royal Star & Garter Homes cares for ex-Servicemen and women and their partners living with disability or dementia.

 

The Homes are looking for:

  • Day care driver (Solihull only): To help pick-up Star & Garter Club day care guests from their homes in mornings, and drop them back in the afternoons
  • Chatty Companions: To spend time with residents, making them cups of tea, reading them a newspaper or crossword
  • Out and Abouters: To accompany residents on outings, which could include a country drive, pub lunch, museum, sporting events
  • Energetic Entertainers: To take part in and lead activities from within the Home. These range from arts and crafts, quizzes, music and readings

 

Volunteers will benefit from an induction, management, development and support programme. Anyone interested is encouraged to commit to six months to provide continuity of friendly faces to the residents. They will be able to see first-hand the huge impact volunteering has on the lives of residents.

Volunteer Maggie Fahmy chatting to a Solihull resident

The Royal Star & Garter Homes, has  over 60 active volunteers within its three Homes. Many of them are long-term, and the Charity believes this reflects on how well they are valued.

 

Terry Wild has been volunteering at the Solihull Home for nine years. He said: “People here are amazing. I don’t know if it is their military background, but they have such grit and determination. I volunteered in order to give something back, but I get so much out of it myself. The rewards are incredible.”

 

Frank Hughes was looking for a new challenge after retiring. His grandfather fought and was injured in the First World War, and his father served in the Second World War. Frank felt volunteering to help veterans was a great way to give something back. He helps in activities ranging from arts and crafts to quizzes. He said: “The veterans have led interesting lives and the Home tries to prolong those interests. I get satisfaction from supporting that.”

 

Anne Benefield helps residents on outings to the theatre or pub lunches. She said: “The residents are like my family. I’m so grateful to them and I enjoy every minute of my time with them.”

 

Charlie Wilson, Activities & Volunteers Manager at the Solihull Home, said: “Volunteers make a huge difference to the lives of our residents. We have a great team at present but are looking to add to it so that we can offer even more to the people we care for. Please get in touch if you think you can help make that difference.”

 

High Wycombe Home Manager Chelle Daly said: “As our Home begins to fill with residents we need volunteers to help us with activities and events. I’ve already received queries from people that are interested in helping, but we’d love to hear from more people. Please get in touch if you think you can help make that difference.”

 

Volunteers’ Week thanks and recognises the invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK made by volunteers.

 

In April the Charity held awards ceremonies to thank its volunteers.

 

For you’re interested in volunteering at the Solihull Home email solihull.enquiries@starandgarter.orgor call 0121 711 6330.

 

For you’re interested in volunteering at the Solihull Home email hw.enquiries@starandgarter.org or call 01494 927 555.

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