Our Volunteers are Amazing

Pauline Withey, Agewell Services Manager, can’t speak highly enough of the volunteers who support Agewell in so many ways.

Four long-standing volunteers are an integral part of the team running the Agewell Shop at Sandwell Hospital, along with a new starter who’s fitting right in. Agewell’s monthly Local Forums in Rowley, Wednesbury and Tipton are run by volunteers and our Thinking Differently About Dementia (TDAD) team is supported weekly by a volunteer too.

Here’s what some of them had to say .....

Makes Me Happy

A familiar face in Rowley Regis, Clive has been the volunteer Chair of Agewell’s Rowley Forum for around six years now and says he’s still loving it.

He’s used to volunteering, having been involved with his local Neighbourhood Watch in the past, as well as chairing the Town Team Forum which enabled local residents to air their views with leaders from the council.

“When I was asked to Chair the Local Forum, I thought I’d give it a go,” says Clive. “I look at myself as a fortunate fella. I’m 81 and able-bodied and a lot of people aren’t as fortunate. The Local Forum gives them a chance to get out of their four walls and that’s the joy I get out of it.

“I have an excellent Vice Chair, Josie, which makes a big difference and am supported in everything I do by my wife Joan. Two of our members who have lost their partners have now become a couple and it’s lovely that the Forum has helped them to find happiness again. It makes me happy.”


A Sense of Purpose

For Shirley, being an Agewell volunteer gave her a focus after she retired at 63.She hasn’t any grandchildren, so she wanted something to keep herself occupied.

“I started on the hospital trolley round in 2016 but the trolley got bigger and bigger and I’m only just over five foot tall so was struggling to see over the top of it!” Shirley says. “Agewell asked if I’d work in the shop and I’ve been there ever since.

“I was the first volunteer back in the shop after Covid. I really did miss it during that time, but we just carried on where we’d left off. The shop was quiet at first but has now picked up again. You don’t have time to breathe some days. I like it that way as the time goes very quickly.

“There’s none of the pressure you get at work when you’re volunteering, and the others are all absolutely lovely. If you can say you enjoy something you do, then that’s good.  I’ll certainly be carrying on volunteering as long as I’m able.”

Time to Chat

Shop volunteer, Brenda, says just chatting to lots of different people while staffing the till is a lovely way to spend the day.

The 81-year-old used to provide drinks on the wards before deciding to volunteer in the Agewell shop when it opened seven years ago.

She says: “I love it. I like being occupied and speaking to people, so the shop is perfect. Some customers are really pleased to have someone to listen to them so they tell me their life stories!

“I catch the bus here, meet some new people, then get the bus home. It’s ideal!”

Dates for your Diary

Please call 0121 796 9333 for dates and times of our Agewell Forums. 

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