Newly elected Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Mohammed Azim, attended an afternoon tea celebration at Longbridge Retirement Village last week – 5th June, to thank volunteers as part of national Volunteers’ Week, which ran from 1-7 June.
The Lord Mayor, joined by the Lady Mayoress, Ms Bushra Bi, was greeted by the villages’ volunteers for a celebration to recognise the difference its older and younger volunteers make to its vibrant community.
Longbridge Village is one of five retirement villages in Birmingham, developed and operated by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, a registered charity of more than 30 years that exists to create better lives for older people.
More than 40% of the charity’s strong 2,269 volunteer force is made up of over 55s; at Longbridge 60% of its 122 volunteers fall into this age bracket. These numbers reflect the findings of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s recent report, which showed that 45% of people aged 65+ are most likely to have volunteered recently out of all age groups.
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Mohammed Azim comments: "The Lady Mayoress and I enjoyed our visit so much and look forward to returning again in the future. It was a lovely environment with very special residents and volunteers who give so much of their time, Lindsay and Reg were like ‘Super Hero’s’. It is one big happy family and thank you all for making us feel so welcome."
Resident volunteer at Longbridge Village Ann Woolacott said: "I began volunteering to give back to my community & reclaim a sense of purpose. Since my voluntary journey at ExtraCare began I have found it to be the most rewarding experience. I love to spending time with the residents, supporting them in different aspects of their day to day living, learning new skills, taking on challenges and being involved in a range of activities. It's most enjoyable. And I’m thankful of the opportunity!"
Kirsty Patel, Volunteer Organiser at Longbridge Village comments: “As a charity, volunteering is at the heart of what we do. We rely on the support of thousands of volunteers to help us create better lives for older people. But it’s not just the residents who benefit from the positive impact of volunteers, the volunteers, no matter their age, can in return gain skills and experience, meet people and make new friends, and benefit from improved well-being associated with making a difference to others.”
The volunteer roles within ExtraCare’s villages are diverse and fulfilling and include helping in the charity’s fifty-plus charity shops, helping in village bars, cafes and gyms, getting involved in fundraising activities and supporting its award-winning well-being programme, and befriending residents who are isolated.
To register your interest as a volunteer at ExtraCare, people can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 02476 506 011.
For more information, interviews and case studies please contact: Cheryl Flounders on 02476 507 917 or at email@example.com
The ExtraCare Charitable Trust
ExtraCare is a registered charity established in 1988 and based in Coventry. Our vision is better lives for older people and our mission is creating sustainable communities that provide homes older people want, lifestyles they can enjoy and care if it’s needed. To deliver our vision and mission we essentially do three things:
Each village or scheme has 5 to 18 social, health and leisure facilities that are accessible to our residents, volunteers and local people representing all age groups living in surrounding communities. Our Charity Shops help fund care and well-being services for older people living at our each of our locations.