Volunteering at The Furzedown Project
Our volunteers are the life blood of our centre, giving of their time generously to support activities, events and the day-to-day running of the Furzedown Project.
They deploy a vast range of their skills to keep the Project running so successfully. These acts of solidarity, empathy, listening, and social interaction have the greatest impact on improving the lives of our members, with our volunteers often offering sensitive peer support to those going through bereavement, loss, loneliness, and discomfort.
There are lots of opportunities available for volunteering. These include:
Mini bus drivers (full licence) to join our transport team, offering
Escorts for minibus, offering
The Home Visiting Scheme is a service that is delivered by a team of volunteers who take friendship and conversation into the living rooms of people who find it very difficult to get out and are faced with too many hours spent alone. Visits are undertaken by the Projects own members, who visit their client for around a couple of hours a week. For more details, please go to our Home Visiting page
Other volunteering opportunities include:
Some of our Volunteers’ Stories
Liz staffs our reception desk on Tuesday & Thursday mornings. She also undertakes telephone befriending, and is Chair of Trustees. She says:
“When I retired seven years ago and was looking for something to do, my husband Terry (who was already volunteering for the Project) said, ‘go along and take a look, you might enjoy it’.
I did go along and it was suggested that I do a stint on Reception. I found a friendly, laid-back atmosphere combined with a common purpose to do well for all members. I really enjoy the role and am now on the Board of Trustees which enables a curious person like myself to see close up how the Project runs and play a part in it.
I love what we do at the Project and the way that we do it, warm, welcoming and supportive to all. On a personal note it also showed me that retirement is only the closing of one chapter and volunteering the beginning of a new chapter.”
Ann maintains, refreshes and updates the Projects’ window display and notice boards. She says:
“When I first came to the Furzedown Project six years ago, I was recovering from a major episode of anxiety and depression which left me totally lacking confidence and nervous about going out. It was the Computer Support morning and I was encouraged to sit down and have a go. I came back again that afternoon for an exercise class and have never looked back. Since then I have at various times enjoyed Reminiscence, Photography, Singing and Relaxation classes.
Last year a new window display system was installed and I was asked to become ‘poster monitor’. My job is now formalised as Display Organiser. We have a wide variety of posters, some long life – advertising our on-going classes and services, and some short term – for special events at the Project and elsewhere in the local community. The display is part of the public face of the Project so it needs to be up to date. It is really rewarding to see the many passers-by who stop to read the information. Being part of the volunteer team has boosted my confidence and enables me to give something back for the opportunities to learn, exercise and make friends.”
Tony is a Trustee of the Project, helps with Computer Support and staffs the reception desk on Friday mornings. Tony says:
“I volunteer here out of ‘self-interest’. It is very important to remain physically and mentally active to survive. I was frustrated by retirement, the slower pace of life and reduced income, but it is also important to know that what you do has a ‘social value’, not just a cash value. I get job satisfaction from the work I do at the Project. I feel I achieve things, learn new things and do things that other people can benefit from. There is an exchange that takes place here, people give support and are given support. Once you’ve passed 70 things can go wrong and I might have need of this place if things go wrong for me.”
Gill is a new member of the Project and has brought new energy and ideas to our team of fundraisers. She says:
“I came to the Project last September when I enrolled in the Craft Class. I quickly discovered the wide range of activities on offer and joined Monday’s Fit and Fitter Group.
I enjoy fundraising, working with others and meeting new people. I have knitted some baby garments and novelties to sell at Christmas and Easter and have helped “man the stalls”. I enjoy chatting with members and staff, hearing about their lives and interests. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and I look forward to many more years of fundraising and socialising at the Project.”
Guy is a Home Visiting volunteer and Passenger Transport Assistant, helping people attend weekly activities and supporting people on day trips. He says:
“I am a person who likes to help others, and I am happy when I’m helping, helping young or old, animal or human, helping gives me job satisfaction. The people I meet as a home visitor are often on their own. They need to see a different face and to talk. It’s nice when people look forward to seeing you and I enjoy getting to understand another person and sharing life experiences.”
Barbara has staffed our reception desk on Thursday afternoons for 15 years, and plays a key role in fundraising events. She says:
“I enjoy meeting and greeting the members who come in to play Bridge and those who exercise each Thursday. We have a chat and a laugh before the classes begin and again when I take through the tea.
I am part of the fundraising team making craft and decorative items which we sell at the Easter and Christmas Fayres. We also organise small raffles for members which helps the Project with extra funds.”
Terry is our Passenger Transport Assistant for the exercise classes on a Thursday morning. He and driver Peter Clarke are a great team who undertake a double pick-up and return shift. Terry also supports the Summer Day Trips. He says:
“I was having some trouble with British Gas, and called into the Project for some advice. When that was sorted I was then waylaid by Mick who asked things like ‘what are you up to now?’ … ‘Do you have any time to spare?’… ‘What skills do you think you can share?’ etc. A lot of you will recognise the approach! Now four years later I still do voluntary escort duties for the mini-bus and also some home visiting. Working on the bus involves collecting people who may spend a lot of time on their own, greeting them with a kind word, helping them on and off the mini-bus, seeing them safely home, giving them confidence to make the journey and join in the different activities. It’s also good to see friendships develop and different nationalities and backgrounds mixing together so well.”
Christel has helped at the Project for 18 years, beginning as a Passenger Transport Assistant following the loss of her husband. She now provides refreshments to the Monday Get-together and Co-op Shop. She is also a member of the events catering team and the fundraising team. She says:
“I enjoy the things I do for the Project and the company I get when I’m doing it. It makes me happy to meet my friends and know that we all work together for the benefit of the Centre.”