The volunteers mentioned below are regular volunteers. They have not been visiting lately due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The team look forward to welcoming them back soon.
Anyone can volunteer at Gracewell of Woking. The youngest volunteer Lily Gray is only 15 years old. Below are some of the stories from the home’s volunteers:
Diane Appleyard decided to become a volunteer at Gracewell of Woking after visiting her son-in-law’s mother who is a resident at the care home. Diane likes to spend time with residents and loves talking to all of them. She has built up strong relationships and the residents always look forward to her visits.
Diane helps out at special events and is always on hand when the Activities team ask her to help out. She is always bringing treats into the home for everyone to share, especially big tins of chocolate at Christmas. Diane said:
“I find the atmosphere at Gracewell of Woking most welcoming. The staff are friendly and the other residents are really lovely.
“It is a pleasure to help there and I look forward to each visit. Whenever I leave the building, I am always happy and have a feeling of wellbeing.
“I enjoy my time at Gracewell and would thoroughly recommend volunteering to other people.”
Kevin Cox has always enjoyed visiting the home as his mother is a resident. His wife, Jane Cox, is the Activities Coordinator at Gracewell of Woking.
When Jane started working at the home, Kevin decided to become a volunteer. He has enjoyed gardening with residents, making up planters and getting to know the residents over coffee and cake. Kevin said:
“I really enjoy my time spent at Gracewell of Woking. The staff are so great, and we all have lots of fun
“I have also been involved with the Gentleman’s Club, we have had lovely afternoons horse racing and having a beer.”
Sandra England has been a volunteer at Gracewell of Woking since they first opened. Sandra is a fantastic knitter, and she runs the “Nit and Natter” group on a Saturday morning. The residents love these sessions and are always working on projects for the class.
Sandra spends a lot of time in individual rooms chatting to the residents individually. She also helps out with many of the special events organised at Gracewell of Woking. The residents really look forward to Sandra’s visits.
Debbie Skelton joined as a volunteer to help with the Activities at Gracewell of Woking. Activities Coordinator Jane Cox worked alongside Debbie to help start up a playgroup in the care home. This was an intergenerational activity and it proved very popular with residents who loved the interaction with children. Debbie said: “After retiring, I decided I still wanted to be active. Volunteering seemed a perfect choice. My friend Jane suggested I come and help set up an intergenerational playgroup at Gracewell and help her with the cognitive sessions she was running. Both have given me a sense of purpose, mental stimulation, and much laughter. It also has connected me to a community which I didn’t have when I was working out of the area I live in.”
Lily Gray is the youngest of the volunteers, at only 15 years old. She started out as a volunteer after asking to visit her auntie’s father who is a resident at the care home.
Lily initially began by making drinks for residents and handing out delicious cakes when she would visit. She also enjoyed talking to residents about their favourite memories, and they loved asking Lily about school and her hobbies.
Lily has become close friends with many of the residents, and she hopes to make a real difference when she goes to visit them. Lily intends to work within the health care sector when she leaves school, and she knows her experience at Gracewell of Woking will help her achieve this dream.
Speaking of her time volunteering at Gracewell of Woking, Lily said:
“Volunteering has made such a big difference to my life. I’ve been told by a lot of people how my confidence has grown over the last few months and I’m now doing a lot of things I’d never have dreamed of last year.
“This includes, getting in a lift on my own, walking to the care home after school on my own (I have cerebral palsy so my balance is a little unsteady!), and talking to people who normally I wouldn’t have come into contact with.
“I love it and would recommend it to anyone!”
For more information about Gracewell of Woking, please click here.