Paul from St Albans has been volunteering with Supporting Hands since he retired in 2020. He says:
“After my retirement I knew I wanted to get involved in volunteering but I didn’t know what. Then I saw an article about Rennie Grove’s Supporting Hands programme in the Herts Advertiser and it really appealed because I wanted to bring out the best in people through providing one-to-one support. The role seemed like a great fit for the skills I have so I got in touch and have been volunteering ever since.
“I currently support two people, including Stephen who lives in Hemel Hempstead. He doesn’t have any friends living nearby and only has one living brother who lives across the country. When I met him in 2020, the lockdowns had left Stephen scared to go out and he had virtually become a recluse. Often I am still the only person Stephen sees each week.
“I support Stephen in a variety of different ways, but trying to get him out and about is key. We go shopping, out for walks and sometimes even go to the pub. I also drive him to hospital appointments and took him for all his COVID vaccinations.
“Before Supporting Hands became involved Stephen had reached a dead end. He couldn’t see a way out. He was very closed off and had no confidence, with low self-esteem.
“It took a while to build up a friendship between us but now he seems to have got his mojo back and his sense of humour really comes through.
“I would really recommend the role to anybody – if you have the time to volunteer, you could make a real difference to somebody’s life.”
“The volunteer visits have given me purpose as well. It keeps me busy and has been beneficial for my mental health."
Where to next?
Share your story If you have a story you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you.
Read more stories Meet some of the wonderful patients and families we've had the privilege of caring for.
Volunteer Our Supporting Hands volunteers support local families with practical help and companionship
Make a donation
All of our care is provided completely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of local communities, who fund 80 percent of our care through donations. If you'd like to help too, you can make a donation here.Donate now