At OPAL, volunteers are the very backbone of our charity. We couldn’t provide the level of support that we do for people in our communities without the commitment, energy, care and creative talent of our 210 volunteers across all our services. We are truly grateful for the outstanding work they do in all the local communities we cover.
Below are just some of our volunteers’ stories, the reasons they volunteer and how it has made a difference to their own lives.
Claire – Carers Connect Volunteer
Claire is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet and goes out of her way to help people. She truly is a special person.
Claire used to be an intensive care nurse in Royal Navy, since then has worked in school nursing and in GP. She now runs her own training company teaching clinicians therapy for Trauma. Claire has two lovely sons, and in her free time she loves to walk her chocolate lab and cuddle her cat.
Claire likes to keep fit by playing netball and going to the gym She loves worshipping at her church and trying to add a little bit of happiness to her small part of the world.
Its clear Claire really enjoys caring for people and being around others. Before lockdown she volunteered at Carers Connect for two years and now makes befriending calls during Covid 19 pandemic.
I joined OPAL because I love the interaction with elderly people. As I work from home running my own business I felt important to set time aside to give back to the community. Helping at Carers Connect gives me as much joy as I hope I bring to them. I hope that by supporting OPAL I am contributing to reducing loneliness of those isolated or alone.
James – Club and Breaktime Volunteer
James is thoughtful and generous always bringing a fun element to every session. He goes beyond his role as volunteer ensuring the people he’s supporting get the most out of their time at OPAL.
James lives in Runcorn with his partner of 28 years, Chris. He is a talented footballer being spotted by Stockport County Football Club at aged 13.
There wasn’t much money in football in those days so his parents encouraged him to get a ‘proper’ job! So from 1980 he was Production Planner at a large factory in Runcorn before retiring when he was 65.
Obviously, his main hobby was football, playing semi-pro and amateur football until he was 60. He now enjoys fishing, swimming and he loves to cook anything from Gino D’Acampo recipes, to Pinch of Nom to Super Salads
A pleasant distraction from the daily routine is my volunteering. I really wanted to put something back into society and through OPAL clubs I can do just that. Five minutes of my time doesn’t feel like a lot to me but you can see it makes a big difference to the person I’m chatting to. OPAL clubs – Frodsham and Helsby, Breaktime one to one visits. I think it helps to keep all our minds active – members and volunteers. I think, having volunteers who have a range of interests and different approaches, makes the weekly OPAL meetings and Breaktime lively, which is why I think the members look forward to their get-togethers. I really wanted to put something back into society and through OPAL clubs I can do just that. Five minutes of my time doesn’t feel like a lot to me but you can see it makes a big difference to the person I’m chatting to.