Volunteers are so much more than a friendly face

Teri Bearhope speaks with Seaton Hall resident Geroge Trotter about services availible during voulenteers week (1-7 June)
Teri Bearhope speaks with Seaton Hall resident Geroge Trotter about services availible during voulenteers week (1-7 June)

Organisations throughout the UK are marking Volunteering Week and in Berwick and Berwickshire there is one group of volunteers who are continuing to offer a vital service.

Seton Care’s early intervention project is a voluntary befriending scheme for older people on both sides of the border and its co-ordinator Terri Bearhope said that volunteers like the ones she works with deserve some recognition.

“It’s only right that the volunteers have a week they can celebrate all the hard work they do all year round,” she commented.

“They are often unsung heroes who give up their time to help others.

“I know that prior to joining our scheme some of our volunteers thought ‘why would anyone want me to spend time with them?’ But the fact is they do a fantastic job.”

Seton Care’s befriending scheme currently has 13 volunteers and Terri said in some cases they were one of the only other faces service users see.

“The service is there for those older people who are lonely and could benefit from some company.

“The majority of the volunteers are of the older generation themselves which helps when finding things in common. Some of the users like to reminisce about old times whereas others just want general chitchat.”

The early intervention project, funded by Comic Relief, currently has service users stretching from Coldingham to Bowsden and volunteers from both sides of the border but Terri said there was always room for more.

“Being a volunteer is such a rewarding thing,” she added.