We love this time of the month: when we get to shout about our amazing volunteers and the quite literally life changing work that they do to help YCC run smoothly and effectively.
This month we are giving a very special THANK YOU to Luke Russell, who has been volunteering for YCC for a year and a half so far, as a telephone befriender.
We caught up with Luke to find out a little more about his volunteering journey.
- Name: Luke Russell.
- Tell us a little about yourself? I live in Huddersfield and work for a manufacturing company in nearby Meltham. I spend most of my time on my main interests which are cooking (& eating!), reading, and attending live music events.
- How long have you been volunteering for the charity? Just over 18 months.
- Please explain your volunteering role in a nutshell: As a telephone befriender, I make weekly phone calls to some elderly individuals in the local community. After the first few calls of getting to know one another, these typically become nice informal chats to talk about anything which has been going on for them and myself recently, and anything else which might have been on their mind.
- What made you want to start volunteering with YCC? I’d been wanting to take up a volunteering role for some time, but had struggled to commit myself to an opportunity. During the 2020 Covid lockdowns and the growing awareness of community loneliness, which was particularly acute in some groups including the elderly, I saw this role advertised in an email and felt I couldn’t help but commit some time to helping in any way.
- Sum up a typical day of volunteering for you? The befriending role is great for someone like myself who works weekday office hours as I can easily fit the time into the sociable hours I have after finishing work. Typically, I’ll try to call straight after finishing my job for the benefit of my friends, and just have a natural conversation with them about what’s happened in the last week, and anything which they want to talk about from their lives – I planned my holiday in Scotland last summer around trips one of my contacts used to make and often tells me about – he has such fond memories of Arran we had to check it out! I’ll make the odd note during the call, and then once we’ve finished our conversation, update the volunteering app with the call details.
- And finally, what advice would you give to people considering volunteering with YCC? The main thing is making sure you’re honest with yourself about what you can fit in and find an opportunity accordingly. The Telephone Befriending role really suits me with the time I am able to commit with work and other commitments, and building relationships overtime is very rewarding as someone who enjoys bouncing off people.
If you feel inspired to become a telephone volunteer like Luke, or if you would like to volunteer in any way for our charity, please contact Lucy on 01484 519988 or email [email protected]