Getting advice and support if you don’t live near a town centre is not always easy. Many people need a bit of a helping hand to find the right services that will help them stay living safely and independently in their own home and to get connected to their local community.
If you enjoy meeting people, want to get involved in your local area and see people’s lives improve because of your help, one of Age Concern Hampshire’s volunteer roles could be right for you.
Village Agents are volunteers who provide information to local people of all ages on topics such as finding help in the home or garden, transport, groups and clubs in the area, preventing falls, finding care providers in the home, day centre or residential care, meals on wheels, personal alarms etc.
Often, just giving information is not enough and Village Agents can also provide the extra help that a person may need to follow up on the information provided, e.g. they may make a phone call on behalf of someone, fill in a form with them, arrange transport or take them to a local group for the first time.
Village Agents make themselves known in their local area by attending events and groups so that people get to know who they are and that they can be approached with queries. They also get to know key people in local agencies including the parish or town council, GP surgery and other voluntary organisations working in the area. The role is very flexible and usually takes a few hours a week. There are around 50 Village Agents across Hampshire. Training and support is provided.
Information Home Visitors
The Information Service at Age Concern Hampshire (Freephone 0800 328 7154) often receive queries by phone from people who actually find it quite difficult to manage on the phone. We have a team of volunteer Information Home Visitors who can visit those people at home to provide information face to face on local services and social groups or to help people fill in forms.
These volunteers decide what size area they would like to cover – usually several villages – and the Information Team at Age Concern Hampshire contacts them when a home visit is needed locally. Mileage expenses can be reimbursed. The bigger the area covered, the busier the role is likely to be but on average a Home Visitor may be asked to provide one or two visits per month.
What kind of person are we looking for?
Village Agents and Information Home Visitors need to be good listeners and able to communicate clearly and effectively with a range of people and organisations such as older people, carers, relatives and professionals.
Both roles will involve some travel so use of a car is essential. It is helpful if the volunteer is confident to use email, the internet and Microsoft Word. They need to be aged over 18 years and willing to undertake training.
Contact the Village Agent Coordinator on 01962 892443 for more information or email VillageAgent@ageconcernhampshire.org.uk