Local older people’s charity recruits volunteers that set the benchmark high

26th October 2023

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) and Sheffield-based recruitment agency, Benchmark Recruit talk about their charity partnership and their commitment to supporting our most vulnerable older people.

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) and Sheffield-based recruitment agency, Benchmark Recruit talk about their charity partnership and their commitment to supporting our most vulnerable older people. 

When Rebecca Morris first heard about the work of SCCCC over three years ago, little did she know the impact it would have on her own life and the lives of older people in Sheffield.

The Good Neighbour Scheme, a befriending service where volunteers visit older people in their own homes to reduce loneliness and isolation was launched in 1966. Since then the charity has recruited hundreds of volunteers and supported thousands of vulnerable people. 

The charity is all about relationships and they work hard to match volunteers to the older people who depend upon their support.  When they were approached by Rebecca Morris it felt like a match made in heaven!  Rebecca is Managing Director of Benchmark Recruit, a specialist commercial recruitment consultancy which works with a wide range of private, public and third-sector clients.  As the name suggests, Benchmark prides itself on providing a standard of excellence and shares SCCCC's commitment to matching the best candidate to the role.   

Over the last three years, Rebecca has been a passionate advocate and successful fund-raiser for SCCCC.  She raised almost £1000 by running the Sheffield 10K and supports both the Good Neighbour and Hospital to Home teams.  Her enthusiasm and commitment to SCCCC is infectious and SCCCC were delighted to discover that Rebecca’s colleague at Benchmark, Natalie Salvato-Hague, was also a volunteer on the Good Neighbour Scheme. She too has taken on fundraising for the charity by signing up to a fire walk, and volunteering her time on the Pen pal scheme. 

Both Rebecca and Natalie are committed to really making a difference. Rebecca shares her thoughts on volunteering with SCCCC below:

‘I have been passionately volunteering for SCCCC for over three years. We have an ageing population and it genuinely worries me how older people are forgotten, and services are not always available to them. I firmly believe in the importance of giving back and supporting charities who are offering vital services to people in our community. We all lead busy lives, but dedicating an hour or two to somebody else makes an enormous difference, especially to them. I think it’s immeasurable how much a hug, cup of tea and, a chat can help a lonely person. After all you may be the only person that they see or speak to that day, or even week. Hearing Mark (Chief Exec of SCCCC) speak at an event I was attending about the number of older lonely people on the waiting list for a Volunteer (shockingly around 200) broke my heart, I don’t think I needed longer than a second to agree to sign up. I would urge everybody who can to sign up as a Volunteer.  I can honestly say I have benefitted just as much from the Good Neighbour Scheme as the wonderful service users that I have visited have.’

Natalie also shares her perspective:

‘When I first heard about SCCCC it really broke my heart that there is such a huge list of older people waiting for a companion.  Having two grandparents in their 90’s, I hate to think of them being isolated. When I got in touch with SCCCC I wasn’t sure what to expect but they were fantastic and explained the whole process and prepared me for different scenarios so thoroughly. They asked me all about myself and my interests so they could match me with someone I could build a genuine bond and relationship with. Throughout the last year SCCCC have been on hand if I needed any advice or support, the whole experience has been amazing. If you’re looking to donate your time to a charity, I’d definitely recommend getting in touch with SCCCC, the difference you could make to someone’s life is incredible and I promise you won’t regret it!’

As of October 2023, there are 200 lonely older people on the SCCCC waiting list and SCCCC are actively seeking more volunteers.  
If you would be interested in making a really important difference to someone’s life, please contact Lynn Smith now on 0114 2505290, option 5.

Their in-house team provides training and ongoing supervision to ensure all volunteers have a good experience and feel completely supported. They work hard to tailor volunteering opportunities around your skills and interests. Travel expenses will be reimbursed and insurance and security measures are in place to make your volunteering is safe.  

To find out more go to:  https://scccc.co.uk/

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