"Helping others makes my day."
Abbey generously volunteers with Royal Voluntary Service, giving her time as a Cornhill Community Companion. Despite moving from Cornhill to London, Abbey continues to support her ‘companion’ through calls, emails, and thoughtful gestures. Volunteering has taught her about the importance of giving back and the impact of friendship and social support on wellbeing.
"Having someone to talk to can make all the difference to someone’s day; friendship and social support can be invaluable to a person’s wellbeing."
In her role as a Community Companion, Abbey has a great impact on mental health and wellbeing, by providing companionship, a listening ear and engaging in uplifting conversations.
"As a Community Companion, my role is to provide friendship and conversation, contributing to people's wellbeing. It's how I Play My Part."
Through the service, Abbey was partnered with a retired librarian who had recently been widowed and required additional support.
"Through friendly conversations, sharing ideas, stories, and interesting articles, we have formed a genuine friendship. Now, not only am I able to make a positive difference in her life, but she has also made one in mine too."
Abbey recognises the profound impact a simple conversation can have.
"It's amazing the difference a conversation can make - a friendly chat can really turn someone’s day around."
Her commitment goes beyond conversations, as she showed with a thoughtful gesture during a visit to Bath for the Bath Half Marathon. Aware of her companion's fondness for a local bakery, having previously lived there, Abbey purchased a classic traditional bun and sent it as a delightful surprise.
"Being able to give back and support others, particularly older and vulnerable people, has been such a rewarding experience. Our calls bring me great joy and company too; I always look forward to speaking with her."
Abbey emphasises the invaluable impact of friendship and social support on wellbeing. Reflecting on her volunteer work, she shared, “I believe giving back and helping others is so important. It’s an easy way to make a positive impact not only on the lives of those you help but also on yourself as a volunteer. Helping others makes my day.”