A charity which supports about 50 unpaid carers in Uckfield is looking for people to join their team of volunteers.
The aim of the Association of Carers is to give carers some time to themselves, while a volunteer keeps a loved one company in their home.
Volunteers might sit with somebody who is asleep, ensuring they are kept safe, or chat over tea, play games, or read with their charge. Volunteers can also teach carers basic computer skills, enabling them to do online shopping or banking, or keep in touch with family. Tasks to make the carers lives a bit easier.
The association also offers telephone support services, giving carers the chance to discuss their caring role in confidence. This role is carried out from a volunteer’s own home.
The level of need is assessed by the charity and, in advance of taking on a new role, you would visit the carer and the cared-for person with one of the association’s representatives, to ensure a perfect match.
A full induction is offered to volunteers, and there is on-going support and training opportunities, such as Safeguarding, First Aid, Listening Skills and more.
Jane Caley from the association told Uckfield News that volunteers would ideally commit time for a minimum of one year. This enables, carers, volunteers and the person being cared for the chance to settle into a routine and build strong relationships. However, even if you couldn’t commit for this long, the association would still love to hear from you.
Jane said: “Anyone over 18 is invited to volunteer with us. A lot of our volunteers are slightly older. Many are retired, or people who have themselves been in caring roles.
“It would be fantastic to recruit more younger people. Building those intergenerational relationships is so rewarding.
“Work and family life can make that difficult but perhaps people who work part-time would be interested, or parents whose children are at school during the day.”
Jane said the commitment is fairly low level – a maximum of three hours a week – and it is possible to be flexible and work around people’s lives.
Many of the people being cared for have varying degrees of progression through disease, others might have dementia. All find the experience of spending time with their regular volunteer an enriching one. No personal care is involved – it is simply about providing company.
The Association of Carers is based in Hastings but offers services and training opportunities across East Sussex.
About 50 carers in Uckfield currently receive support. If more volunteers come forward it would mean that more people could be helped – and that some volunteers who travel long distances to get to the town could work closer to their own homes.
Carers who need support are either referred by professionals or are able to approach the association themselves. Read more here.
If you are interested in volunteering you can learn more on the association’s website: or call 01424 722309.