‘Do something wonderful’ – volunteer calls for more charity champions

A volunteer who helps older people in Sheffield is calling for others to get involved and ‘do something wonderful’.

Gill Nockall, of Crookes, has been volunteering for Age UK Sheffield for six years and now wants others to share in the ‘delight’ of her experiences.

The 69-year-old works three hours a week in the charity’s Information and Advice Centre in Castle Square in the city centre.

She said: “Volunteering has brought me a lot of pleasure. Every day is varied. I might be helping someone with enquiries about benefits or sometimes people just drop in to have someone to talk to because they are lonely and we can have a chat, as well as signpost them to our services that can help.

“I got involved in volunteering during quite a low point in my life. I had lost my husband and then was made redundant just before Christmas and was suffering from depression. But becoming a volunteer has really helped me – you really feel the benefit of it yourself, too.

“Volunteering is such a worthwhile thing to do, because not only does it help the people using Age UK Sheffield’s services, it helps with your own self-confidence and wellbeing, too.

“The charity gives full training to volunteers and there are always full-time staff to support you – the whole team is lovely.

“It has been a real delight and I would encourage everyone to consider spending some time volunteering and do something wonderful.”

Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive, Steve Chu, said: “As Gill’s story demonstrates, just an hour or two of volunteer time can make all the difference, and we need more charity champions like her.

“People might think they need a lot of different skills, or will be working one-to-one with older people in their homes, but that’s not the case for most of our volunteer vacancies. For our Information and Advice roles on the phone, for example, we will provide the basic training needed and there will always be a member of staff to refer more complex queries to.

“Everyone in Sheffield has a relative or friend who is aged 50 or over so this should be a cause that is close to all of us. I’d ask people to consider if they can spare a little bit of time and, just like Gill, help us to make a very big difference.”