STAFF at an established Malvern charity are having to refuse isolated people much-needed lifts to doctors appointments because they do not have enough volunteers on board.
For the first time ever in their 40-year history Community Action, based at Belle Vue Terrace, is holding a special event on Monday (June 2) to show people the importance of loneliness and the impact it can have on one’s life and to inspire potential volunteers.
The charity has several members of staff and more than 100 volunteers on board and since its launch decades ago offers help to elderly and vulnerable people in and around the Malvern district.
The event is titled Stuck In, Get Out!, which will see the staff talk to people at Malvern Retail Park between 9am and 1pm and then at the centre of Barnards Green between 2pm and 4.30pm, has been organised by the charity’s vice chairman Malli Wadge as a plea to encourage more people to volunteer.
Malli has conducted research on the subject matter of isolation and in the process has found out some alarming statistics which the charity hope will trigger new volunteers.
The charity claim 24 per cent of the Malvern population is aged over 65 – the highest percentage in the country and out of those nearly 18,000 residents, 5,000 of them admit to feeling lonely and isolated.
The event falls on the second day of National Volunteers Week which, run by National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO), celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.
Jacci Phillips, chief officer at Community Action said, ‘When Malli approached us with this idea we thought she was joking but actually what she will be doing totally demonstrates what we hear from our service users all the time.
“I hope people will come along and support Malli and learn a bit more about our charity. The event on Monday is something completely new to us and we hope it will be a big success.
“We are also desperately in need of more volunteers as we are having to refuse people lifts because we just don’t have the number of volunteers to help them which is so frustrating for us.
“We’ve even had to tell people to change their appointments because we simply do not have the numbers, which isn’t good at all from our point of view.
“The more volunteers we have the less people feel isolated in Malvern.”
Visit www.communityaction.org.uk for more information about the charity and how to apply to become a volunteer.