Find out about the people behind Royal Voluntary Service in our series of guest stories from our volunteers, staff and partners.
I haven’t been with WRVS long, but plenty long enough to form a first impression.
I admit; it’s fair to say that before I applied for my job, I wasn’t particularly clued up about exactly what WRVS does – Meals on Wheels and hospital cafes are probably the stereotypical activities that spring to mind. I did, of course, do plenty of research before I had my interview, and couldn’t believe how many different activities WRVS is involved in.
Without wanting to sound pious (I do work here after all), within the first week of being here, I knew I had made a good move.
Visiting projects, and talking to volunteers and people who use WRVS services made it strikingly obvious that the work that goes on here is – using one of my favourite PR phrases – a lifeline for older people.
It may be a cliche, but it isn’t an exaggeration. Without services like Meals on Wheels, Books on Wheels, community transport...a frightening number of older people wouldn’t see a friendly face, or be able to leave the house, for months on end.
I can honestly say, hand on heart, I am already incredibly passionate about what WRVS does.
It’s easy for those who don’t fully understand the work of the charity to dismiss it as insignificant.
The social impact report we produced shows that the activities WRVS allows older people to take part in – a trip to the seaside, having a cup of tea with friends, not having to worry about how to get to a doctors appointment – has a real effect on physical and mental wellbeing. And that’s very significant.
But not enough people know what services are available for older people, or appreciate what a difference the work of the charity makes. Therein lies the challenge.
Posted by Ruth Taylor
Posted by at 11:49
Thursday, 29 October 2009.
Life doesn't stop when you hit your 60s and we've been asking people what they'll be up to when they're 64.
Few people said they'd be spending the childrens inheritance or putting their feet up. The most popular answers were lying on a beach, riding the worlds tallest rollercoaster and working in a job I love.
This is obviously just a small snapshot but it builds an interesting image of what old age might be for the hippy, glam rock and punk generations.
Aspirations are so much greater than those of previous generations. Retirement is an opportunity to realise lifelong dreams with people opting for adventurous travel destintations and the chance to challenge themselves. We might cringe a bit when we see older people in hoodies but by refusing to conform to the OAP stereotype they might be doing the rest of us a favour. Remember these people were the activists of the 60s, watched men walk on the moon, and lived through the industrial action of the 1970s - they are not going to grow old gracefully!
By the way, our favourite answers were:
"...dye my hair funny colours again without fear of it falling out"
"...enjoy sex, Toy Boy, G&Ts, lots of company and laughter!!!"
Posted by Julia Cook
Posted by at 10:27
Wednesday, 21 October 2009.