Volunteering with Abbeyfield

Help us alleviate loneliness for older people

Volunteering with Abbeyfield

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Abbeyfield. Our founder Richard Carr-Gomm, our first ever volunteer, gave his time to help lonely and isolated older people. Today, over sixty years later, 4,500 volunteers continue his legacy, bringing their skills and personality to our houses and homes to ‘make time for older people’.

We welcome volunteers of all ages and abilities and have countless roles to suit the amount of time you can give. Volunteering roles include gardening, looking after pet hens, befriender, activities assistants, admin support and many more.

Meet Barbara, an Abbeyfield Volunteer

Barbara has been volunteering with Abbeyfield for 36 years.

We often refer to volunteers as ‘the lifeblood of Abbeyfield’ and when you meet people like Barbara, it’s easy to see why. Having volunteered with Abbeyfield for 36 years, we caught up with Barbara to find out about her role.

“I used to live next door but one to Darell Jeffreys House and knew Dr Jeffreys very well. I became a volunteer when he died and left his house to Abbeyfield.

“Our local church used to send Darrell Jeffrey’s House donations but instead of using the money our house keeper at the time sent it back and suggested they start their own Abbeyfield, so they did! And very successful it was too. Today we’ve merged into one large house. I started off as a volunteer, helping out when staff members were on holiday. I’d bring my little Cocker Spaniel and she would sit with the residents whilst I’d get on with my daily tasks. It was a wonderful time, full of community and companionship. 

“I had started a residents group in our local area and through my connections encouraged many people to volunteer at Darell Jeffreys House. We used to have ladies coming in to make the teas and cakes, another would come in to just have a chat with residents – everyone in their own way made a positive impact on life at the house.

“Today I come in to the house every week for lunch and to catch up with the residents, who really I count as my friends, and I often run fundraising events and tend the garden. They certainly keep me busy.

“The best thing about Abbeyfield is meeting lots of different people all the time. The house is warm, the food is good and most importantly there is companionship for older people.

“I would encourage people of all ages to volunteer with Abbeyfield, not only do the residents get something form your help, but you do to – you get back what you put in.

Volunteering Freqently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What skills and experience do I need?

    Many roles just require your time, energy and enthusiasm! Our volunteer role descriptions list desired skills or experience, but we know everyone is unique, so we’re always interested to hear about any other skills that you could bring to our homes.
  • What support and training will I be given?

    You will receive a full induction, including any training and support that is necessary to help you feel confident in your volunteering role.
  • Can I claim expenses?

    You should never be out of pocket when you volunteer with us. We reimburse volunteers for out of pocket expenses, for example, relevant travel costs.
  • Will I be interviewed?

    You will be invited for an informal interview when you apply for a volunteer role. This informal interview is a two-way process, so don’t be concerned - it’s as much to find out if you are right for the role as we are right for you.
  • Do I need to supply references or undergo a DBS check?

    Our first and foremost priority is safeguarding our residents. You will be asked to supply two references and all of our volunteers will require a DBS check.
  • Will you provide me with a reference?

    When you have given more than 12 hours of time to us, we will happily give you a reference to confirm your volunteering.

Other ways to support Abbeyfield

If volunteering isn’t right for you, there are other great ways you can support Abbeyfield

Donate to Abbeyfield

Whether it’s a single donation or a monthly contribution, every little bit helps towards the work we do.

Fundraising for Abbeyfield

There are many great ways to fundraise for abbeyfield, from bakesales to fun runs.

Leave a gift in your will

We aim to alleviate loneliness in older people. Please help with a gift in your Will.

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