Volunteers Week | Interview with Voscur

Our Volunteer Coordinator, Nadja, sat down with Voscur for #VolunteersWeek 2024 to highlight the crucial role our volunteers play in supporting people here at Alive.

Spotlight on Alive: Volunteers Week 2024 by Voscur

Last week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Alive, an organisation enhancing the lives of older adults, including through dementia support and nature activities. With the support of volunteers, they successfully run sessions in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, and North Somerset.

Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting people at Alive – they help with session preparation, social engagement, garden maintenance and sensory activities, which can include anything from handling different natural materials to discussing the details and uses of unique plants brought in by volunteers.

Alive offers a variety of volunteer roles across a large area, making it easy for people to find opportunities that fit their schedules and interests. To ensure accessibility, they provide both printed versions of their documents and online forms and ensure that they reimburse travel expenses to make volunteering financially accessible.

For Alive, supporting people living with dementia is an integral part of their daily operations and volunteers are a vital part of making this happen. Their Dementia Meeting Centres provide an inclusive, person-centred space where people can take part in activities that bring joy and foster a sense of community. 

Alive’s therapeutic horticulture sessions provide people with a much-needed connection to the natural world, offering physical benefits as well as improving emotional wellbeing. This has also proven to be a powerful way to create meaningful connections, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

By bringing elements of the outdoors into people’s lives, whether through hands-on gardening, sensory experiences, or reminiscing about nature trips, the charity helps bridge the gap between isolation and engagement, demonstrating the transformative and healing power of nature, with volunteers at the heart of this work.

Personal relationships are key!

Nadja Klose, Volunteer Coordinator

Alive have a dedicated person to interview and onboard each volunteer, so they know they have a consistent point of contact, and they also express their appreciation regularly through thank-you notes, birthday cards, and volunteer of the month celebrations. The activity sessions are centred around wellbeing, and they recognise that their volunteers benefit from that as well.

They also offer volunteer social events as well as online training to keep their volunteers engaged and connected. If a volunteer wants to try something new, they can switch to a different type of session or location without going through the entire onboarding process again.

The dedication and thoughtful methods from Alive’s volunteers stand out as an inspiration for others aiming to make a positive impact in similar areas.

Why not get involved? Check out our volunteering opportunities here.

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