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Charity caring for military veterans seeks new volunteers

A charity is appealing for more volunteers to help provide its award-winning care to military veterans at a care home in Solihull.

The Royal Star & Garter Home in Tudor Coppice currently has around 15 active volunteers who regularly help with the 50 weekly activities put on by the Charity. They speak of their enjoyment spending time with residents, making new friendships, and the rewards they get from giving up their free time.

As part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 June to 7 June, the Charity would like to encourage more people to come forward and help.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes cares for ex-Servicemen and women and their partners living with disability or dementia.

The Home is looking for:
• Day care driver: To help pick-up Star & Garter Club day care guests from their homes in mornings, and drop them back in the afternoons
• Chatty Companions: To spend time with residents, making them cups of tea, reading them a newspaper or crossword
• Out and Abouters: To accompany residents on outings, which could include a country drive, pub lunch, museum, sporting events
• Energetic Entertainers: To take part in and lead activities from within the Home. These range from arts and crafts, quizzes, music and readings

Volunteers will benefit from an induction, management, development and support programme. Anyone interested is encouraged to commit to six months to provide continuity of friendly faces to the residents. They will be able to see first-hand the huge impact volunteering has on the lives of residents.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes, which also has care homes in High Wycombe and Surbiton, has over 60 active volunteers. Many of them are long-term, and the Charity believes this reflects on how well they are valued.

Terry Wild has been volunteering at the Solihull Home for nine years. He said:

“People here are amazing. I don’t know if it is their military background, but they have such grit and determination. I volunteered in order to give something back, but I get so much out of it myself. The rewards are incredible.”

Frank Hughes was looking for a new challenge after retiring. His grandfather fought and was injured in the First World War, and his father served in the Second World War. Frank felt volunteering to help veterans was a great way to give something back. He helps in activities ranging from arts and crafts to quizzes. He said: “The veterans have led interesting lives and the Home tries to prolong those interests. I get satisfaction from supporting that.”

Anne Benefield helps residents on outings to the theatre or pub lunches. She said:

“The residents are like my family. I’m so grateful to them and I enjoy every minute of my time with them.”

Charlie Wilson, Activities & Volunteers Manager at the Solihull Home, said:

“Volunteers make a huge difference to the lives of our residents. We have a great team at present but are looking to add to it so that we can offer even more to the people we care for. Please get in touch if you think you can help make that difference.”

Volunteers’ Week thanks and recognises the invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK made by volunteers.

In April the Charity held awards ceremonies to thank its volunteers.

For you’re interested in volunteering at the Solihull Home email solihull.enquiries@starandgarter.org or call 0121 711 6330.

For further information please contact Goolistan Cooper, Communications Officer goolistan.cooper@starandgarter.org / 0208 481 7669 / 07391 868796

Cally Madden, Marketing & Communications Manager cally.madden@starandgarter.org / 020 8481 7692 / 07881 017299

About The Royal Star & Garter Homes:

The Charity provides award-winning care for military veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War.

Today our friendly, state-of-the-art Homes offer a pioneering approach to nursing, dementia and therapeutic care. We have award-winning Homes in Solihull, West Midlands and Surbiton, Surrey. Our third Home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, opened in April 2019.

We continue to expand our services to reach even more veterans. In 2018, we were able to support 186 residents in our Homes and 36 guests at our Day Care service. We also offer interim care for young disabled Service personnel. We provided 11,700 individual sessions of physiotherapy and speech & language therapy last year to support our residents’ health, and over 5,600 places to residents for activities, outings and events, to promote well-being.

We are proud to have enjoyed Royal patronage since our foundation, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to the present day.

Twitter: @starandgarter
Facebook: facebook.com/starandgarter
Website: www.starandgarter.org

The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a member of the National Care Forum – the leading voice for not-for-profit care providers. A national perspective may be available from info@nationalcareforum.org.uk or by contacting 02476243619. More details on NCF available at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk.

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