To mark Volunteers Week this year, we want to share the stories of some of the fantastic volunteers who are part of the team at Age Concern Birmingham. Emma joined us recently after her own experience of isolation during the coronavirus outbreak made her realise that she wanted to help others who were feeling lonely and disconnected. Here is Emma’s story, in her own words.

When I started volunteering at Age Concern I had been solo isolating for over 5 weeks and was feeling really disconnected from the world. I was looking for a way to help other people who might be feeling lonely and isolated and was really excited to get asked to come in and meet Claire and the team.

The welcome I got was so warm – all the staff and volunteers were so kind and welcoming to me – and it was just lovely to be near other people. I’m now helping with shopping, deliveries and befriending calls and am thoroughly enjoying it!

While we are observing all social distancing guidelines to keep ourselves and our clients safe and well, it’s amazing to be able to see other people – even if it’s waving from the end of the drive – and it’s really keeping my spirits up.

The brief weeks I spent alone really brought home to me the reality of isolation for so many people in our community, and the work the team at Age Concern are doing to ease that is really remarkable. It’s amazing to know there is a group of people who care so much about supporting others and I’m hoping to continue to volunteer as we return to a new normal. The humour, resilience and kindness of our clients at such a challenging time has really lifted my spirits and I’m really thankful to get the chance to work with such an awesome team.

Thank you Emma for being part of the Age Concern Birmingham team and helping to make such a positive difference to people’s lives.