If you are considering becoming a volunteer for Wendover Dementia Support, please contact us. It might be helpful to explore the website to familiarise yourself with Wendover Dementia Support and what we do. There are three parts to our service – home visiting, the Family Support Group and the weekly Monday Club Café. All potential volunteers are invited to spend a morning at the Café before they decide whether to volunteer.
Volunteering opportunities are…
- Monday Club Café volunteers
- Monday Club voluntary drivers
- Monday Club musicians
Monday Club Café volunteer
The Café aims to help people with dementia and their families who live locally. The aim is:
- To provide a place where people with dementia can rediscover pleasurable activities such as music, creative crafts, games and talking to others, particularly about their memories.
- To provide a place for the family carers to receive support, advice, information and training.
- To alleviate isolation and loneliness.
- To provide a tangible voluntary service so that every local family caring for someone with dementia feels supported by a caring, compassionate community.
You will be part of a team of 20 Café volunteers who provide support to enable people living with dementia and their carers to engage and socialise with other people in a welcoming, relaxed and non-judgemental environment. Our volunteers are a friendly, supportive group who welcome and support new volunteers.
Location: The Christian Centre, Aylesbury Road, Wendover HP22 6JG
Timings: The Monday Club Café is open every Monday in the year excluding Bank Holidays. Weekly sessions are 10:00-11:15 for the first group and 11:30-12:45 for the second group.
Volunteers usually try and attend at least half of the Mondays in the year and availability is planned ahead with a volunteer rota. Most volunteers arrive on a Monday between 08:45 and 09:15 to help set up the room and attend the briefing session at 09:15. Most volunteers leave about 13:00 once the room is cleared and the short debriefing session is completed. This is just a guide – WDS is very flexible about what we expect from volunteers as we recognise that most volunteers have other commitments.
What you will be expected to do:
- Attend a preliminary briefing session, planning appropriate activities for our individual visitors
- Help set out the room in an agreed layout
- Put out signage and record attendees
- Prepare and distribute simple refreshments, collecting and washing items used
- Some volunteers bring homemade cakes, little flower arrangements from their garden and other activities or items that they think would interest visitors, such as magazines and pictures of things that they have talked about with a visitor on previous occasions
- Provide a warm welcome and spend time talking to people with dementia and their husbands, wives and carers, using the activities laid out to stimulate participation, interest and conversation
- Liaise with the Café facilitator to support individuals within the group setting by careful listening and sensitive encouragement and support
- Encourage participation with singing and use of the magic table
- Be professional, respectful, and caring at all times
- Read, understand and sign up to our policies on behaviour, privacy, safeguarding and professionalism
- Tidying up the room after the session
- Attend a short debrief at the end of the morning.
This role will suit you if you…
- enjoy meeting new people and get satisfaction from spending a morning providing some very tangible help and support for people and families in need of help
- are able to listen to family carers and provide sensitive support
- are able to reach out and communicate with people who may have difficulty in a conventional social setting
- know about, or are willing to learn about, dementia and its impact on people
- recognise the importance of respect and confidentiality
- are prepared to learn about the role of volunteers and to develop appropriate knowledge and skills.
You will be supported in your role…
- by having an induction to the role from a senior volunteer
- by spending time working in the Café supported by another volunteer or mentor
- by attending briefing and debriefing sessions before and after the Café where individuals will be discussed and plans for their support discussed
- by being encouraged to read helpful literature to enable you to understand what it feels like to have dementia and different ways of helping and supporting them
- by attending occasional volunteer workshops
- by always having an experienced senior volunteer available in the Café if you have any concerns or need advice.
You will not be expected to:
- Provide any personal care for our visitors such as helping them to the toilet.
- Give information or advice to family carers who have significant concerns or get involved in any legal, financial or health-related issues with our visitors – there will always be a senior volunteer present to take that responsibility.
Monday Club Café voluntary driver
We usually have about seven voluntary drivers who are highly valued members of our team. They pick up visitors from their homes in order to bring them to the Café and take them home afterwards. We would welcome new voluntary drivers. If you are interested you might find the following information useful:
- Our visitors live within the Westongrove GP partnership geographical area – Wendover, The Lee, Dunsmore, Weston Turville, Aston Clinton, Bedgrove, and Stoke Mandeville.
- You may be asked to transport one person with dementia who may, or may not, be accompanied by a carer.
- Occasionally the visitor will bring a walking aid such as a walking frame.
- Although we do transport people who use a wheelchair, you can opt out of this if it is not appropriate for you.
- Cheryl Akeroyd organises the pick-up rota and tries to keep the same voluntary driver for each visitor to ensure familiarity and an ongoing relationship.
- It is understood that you might not be available every Monday and the driving rota is planned ahead.
- New drivers are given a brief induction and training and have mobile numbers of WDS senior volunteers as they are asked to make contact immediately if there are any issues picking up or dropping off a visitor.
Monday Club Café musician
We are currently fortunate to have Sian Chattle who plays the guitar and Jill Findley who plays the keyboard. If you are a musician and would like to volunteer please contact us.