There are loads of benefits that come from volunteering, and the feeling of giving back is a reward that really is priceless.
This International Volunteers Day, we're on the look out for new volunteers to join Silver Talk, our telephone befriending service which gives people over 55 the opportunity to connect for regular, social telephone chats.
One of our current volunteers, Gordon, chats about why he decided to join Silver Talk and what he loves about being a volunteer.
"Everyone has life experiences they can draw on to become a friend to someone in need and becoming a Silver Talk volunteer is a great way to do this. All you need is a couple of hours to spare each week to chat and listen on the phone.
"I had full training before starting the role and I can always get guidance if something comes up that I’m not sure how to handle. I can also act as a link between other organisations that can offer help on the ground if extra support is needed. Taking a call from a stranger can be a massive step, especially if someone is depressed or anxious, but we handle calls carefully and it isn’t a problem if those conversations are difficult at first. We build up trust and soon find conversations are free-flowing and enjoyable for both of us.
"I find volunteering in this way very rewarding. It does wonders for my mental health and confidence too because we all have our ups and downs. I feel happy knowing that I’m making a difference and giving something back. Since becoming a volunteer I’ve also joined a local walking club and bowls club and have been accepted onto Karbon’s Strategic Panel, where I’m helping to shape services for Karbon customers.
"So you could say it’s been a bit of a catalyst for other good things in my life."
Want to volunteer?
Currently volunteers make calls from either our Towneley Court office in Stanley or our Tanners Burn office in Hexham. Full training is provided.
To express your interest in getting involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our customer call centre and ask to speak to our Silver Talk co-ordinator, Andrea Alder.
Find out more about the service