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Driving/Befriending Volunteer

Description of the role:

If you enjoy tea and cake and would like to help make a difference in your local community, then look no further!

Re-engage organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for isolated older people who live alone and find it difficult to get out and about by themselves. Each older person is collected from their home each month by a volunteer driver and taken to a volunteer host’s home where they meet with a small group for tea, chat and companionship.

We have over 900 groups across the country, but we are hoping to extend our service in Suffolk and would like to open a number of groups in the next few years. We are looking for volunteer drivers to join these groups.

Our volunteer drivers collect one or two local older people from their homes and accompany them to an afternoon tea, held in the home of a volunteer host. The drivers will then take the guests safely home again. Our tea parties take place in a different home each month, however our volunteer drivers regularly collect the same older guest/s which means that over time real friendships develop. We are also looking for reserve drivers to collect guests occasionally when regular drivers are unavailable.

Our monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties are a vital lifeline for our older guests, and our volunteers often say that they genuinely get as much enjoyment from the gatherings as the older people do.

"Re-engage is a wonderful organisation. I'm delighted to be involved. I joined because I wanted to be of use to others, but to be honest I often wonder who's getting the benefit! I love listening to Jean, the lady I drive, telling me about her past and bringing it all to life so vividly. I really look forward to our meetings."
Katerina, Re-engage Driver

Opportunity Activities: Befriending and Buddying, Community Work, Driving, General and Helping
Availability required:


What skills are needed?

We are looking for someone with a full driving licence, who has access to a car. Volunteer drivers should have a friendly nature and be sympathetic to the needs of older people.

What skills will be learned / gained?

A great way to develop your people skills, teamwork experience and make new friends!

DBS Check Required: Yes
Driving Licence Required: Yes
Does this role have age restrictions?: Yes
Details of restriction:

Applicants should be old enough to hold a full driving licence.

Mandatory training required for role: No
Extra information:

Groups are currently in planning for Woodbridge, and already running in Bury St Edmunds, Eye Ipswich, Stowmarket and Sudbury, but can happen wherever there is sufficient interest from both volunteers and older guests.

The time commitment is 3-4 hours on one Sunday afternoon per month.

About the Opportunity Host Organisation

Host Organisation: Re-engage
Organisation Profile:

Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) is a charity that is positive about older age and committed to fighting loneliness so that people can have social lives and friendship groups however old they are. We inspire and enable meaningful connections and shared experiences within communities across the UK for older people facing loneliness and social isolation.

We work within local communities to set up regular social gatherings for small groups of older people who live alone. One Sunday a month, older people in need of companionship meet new people and form friendships over tea, sandwiches and cakes. Often these are the only opportunities older people have to get out of their homes and socialise.