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In honour of Volunteers’ Week, we sat down with our Charity Volunteers Lead; Chrissie Morris, to discuss the importance of volunteering, on both a personal level and for charities as a whole.

Chrissie Morris

Chrissie Morris

Charity Volunteers Lead

At ExtraCare, volunteering is at the heart of what we do. We rely on the support of thousands of valued volunteers, from our Board of Trustees to those who give their time and skills in our villages, smaller housing schemes and charity shops. Our volunteers play a key part in helping us to create better lives for those in their later years.

 

How long have you been at ExtraCare and what does your role involve you?

I have worked for ExtraCare for just over 10 years and no day is the same. I assist with volunteering related queries across the charity and develop processes and procedures around volunteering including the Volunteering Toolkit and supporting documents. I also lead on volunteering initiatives around the 4R’s, Recruitment, Retention, Recording and Recognition, including Marketing campaigns, the volunteers Portal and Volunteers’ Week.

What’s the best thing about working for a charity?

A cliché but it’s the people, I have met and worked with some amazing people over the past decade who genuinely want to make a difference to others.

What kind of volunteer roles are on offer at ExtraCare?

The volunteer roles within ExtraCare are as diverse and fulfilling as our Volunteers’ interests and skills, we have over 50 roles and the list of opportunities is constantly evolving.

Some of the most popular include:

  • Supporting our gym users
  • Helping in our village bars, cafes and restaurants
  • Supporting activities, classes and events
  • Being a friendly face for residents who are isolated
  • Supporting our Well-being programme
  • Providing assistance in our charity shops (we have 39!)
  • We encourage staff in our locations to think about what their needs are, what would enable them to do more and what could benefit ExtraCare residents – could a location not run an activity because they didn’t have enough people to assist? Would volunteers be able to help with that? Then it might be time to recruit for that specific role.

Alternatively, someone may say they’d like to play the piano for residents or teach a languages class or similar – they’d like to share their skills and knowledge.

How have you found that volunteering has helped people in their personal development?

We like to think of volunteering as a two-way street. As well as making a real difference and helping our residents we hope to be able to give our volunteers opportunities that fulfil their aspirations. We hope to provide positive experiences for our volunteers.

Volunteering could help with an individual’s personal development – some of our volunteers are young people seeking experience or people looking for a change of career. We’ve had people come and volunteer at ExtraCare, gain valuable skills and some have then gone on to have paid employment with ExtraCare or another organisation.

What are some other benefits of volunteering?

Volunteering can make a real difference to a person’s own wellbeing, it keeps people active, it is a way of meeting new people, building confidence and reducing isolation. Volunteers can become part of a community and feel positive about making a difference to others.

How can people get in touch who are interested in volunteering at ExtraCare?

They can visit our volunteers page here or contact a location or shop directly to get more information about their current volunteering opportunities and find out how to apply.

Other Stories

Student shop volunteer Ruby discusses her role volunteering at an ExtraCare charity shop.

Ruby - Student Volunteer

Charity Shop

Student volunteer Joe discusses the importance of volunteering at Solihull Village and what he enjoys most about his role!

Joe - Student Volunteer

Solihull Village