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A day to celebrate every volunteer

International Volunteer Day takes place annually on 5th December.

It’s a day that recognizes the efforts of volunteers in transforming their societies, economies, and environment. A day to celebrate every volunteer.

Those mindful of their surroundings who contribute however they can. Because each of us can make a difference. No matter how small it may seem, every action counts. And that is the power of volunteering! Imagine if everyone did.

Here at Carer Support West Cumbria we are keen to celebrate the amazing contribution of our Volunteers who selflessly support unpaid carers across West Cumbria.

Volunteers are a valued and essential part of the service we provide at Carer Support West Cumbria. All our volunteer roles are designed to support carers health and wellbeing and to prevent social isolation to enable them to continue in their caring role.

It's well recognised and understood that volunteer services are of great benefit to those receiving the service but it can also provide benefits to the volunteer too.

It has been found to, amongst other things, reduce stress, combat depression and bring some fun and fulfilment to your life.

Sue Markbride is one of our incredible Volunteer Sitters who provide respite sits allowing unpaid carers to have a valuable break, with peace of mind that the person they care for is safely looked after.

Volunteer Sitter Sue Markbride

We asked Sue to tell us a bit about her role and the impact volunteering has had on her personally.

What does your role involve?

My role involves sitting for 2 hours with the ‘cared for’ whilst the unpaid carer takes some time for themselves. This may involve going to appointments/ shopping / getting their hair done or simply taking a relaxing bath.

Why do you volunteer with Carer Support West Cumbria in particular?

I volunteered specifically with Carer Support West Cumbria, as they had supported me personally during a particularly difficult time in my life when my husband was diagnosed as being terminally ill. This was my opportunity to pay forwards the kindness and support experienced at this time.

What do you get personally from your volunteer role?

Personally it gives me great satisfaction to see the worried faces you first meet on the doorstep, turn into relaxed happy smiles once this down time has been taken. I can still remember how valuable this time to yourself is and it does not involve any great imposition for the volunteer at all. Something as small as giving a couple of free hours to someone does not seem like a lot at all, but it means the world to the carer which makes me feel very happy too.

How does the type of volunteering you do make a difference?

This type of volunteering makes a difference as the carer may not see another person to talk to and could feel very socially isolated and even getting out for a shopping trip and talking to strangers in shops can make all the difference. Also, families visit the cared for and do not necessarily make time for the unpaid carer individually, meaning family time / visits may also be carried out whilst the “sitting’ is taking place either on or off site.

What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering with Carer Support West Cumbria?

I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering with Carer Support West Cumbria to go ahead as they are a wonderfully caring team and care for the volunteer team just as much as the Carers. Safety is of paramount importance to this whole team for both the Carer / Cared for and the volunteer, training is excellent and I would thoroughly recommend for a feeling of self-worth too.

Every one of our volunteers make an incredible difference to their local community and allow us to provide the range of services we do.

To say a huge thank you to them all we are having a Christmas Lunch tomorrow, Wednesday 6th December where we are all getting together to enjoy the start of the festive season.

If you are interested in a becoming a volunteer with Carer Support West Cumbria visit our Volunteering page or contact us.


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