Locals urged to become a Social Butterfly with Bield

Stirlingshire locals are being encouraged to help senior citizens spread their wings by volunteering their time at Bield’s housing developments in the Stirling area.

Allan Park House in Stirling, Greenacre Court in Bannockburn and Strathallan Court in Bridge of Allan, are currently looking for volunteers to join their Social Activities team.

The team help to help make a difference to the lives of older people by supporting a host of activities.

This can include helping out with group events or other activities such as befriending, gardening and IT support.

Jacqui Ogilvie, who has volunteered with Bield for more than 10 years, has been putting her IT skills to the test at Allan Park House in Stirling.

Silver Surfer Jacqui, who works full-time, devotes a couple of hours each week to helping tenants improve their IT skills.

Tenants at the development can now surf the internet, download audio books and listen to songs on YouTube thanks to her visits.

Speaking of her experience as a volunteer, she said: “It’s almost like my extended family. I learn from them too. I’d like to be like them when I’m their age, to have their energy.”

It’s not just Allan Park House that has been benefiting from the actions of generous individuals.

Social Activity volunteers at Strathallan Court in Bridge of Allan have also been supporting tenants in a variety of activities; including carpet bowls, ‘Tea and Toast’ gatherings and seasonal events, such as Halloween bingo and Christmas parties.

Volunteer Janet Maybank said: “I enjoy giving up a little of my time to help out each week. It’s lovely to see tenants having fun and building friendships.”

Like Strathallan Court and Allan Park House, a similar service is provided by volunteers at Greenacre Court in Bannockburn.

Tenants at the development have been able to challenge themselves by learning how to watch programmes on Netflix and how to use Kindles - allowing them to read and catch up on their favourite shows in their free time.

Bield volunteer development worker, Amy Telford, said: “We’re very lucky to have such a fantastic team of volunteers.

“The support Bield volunteers provide is vital in reducing loneliness and isolation. By teaching, chatting and taking part in social activities, volunteers are helping older people to live fulfilling lives.

“We offer our volunteers training, support, the chance to learn new skills or develop new ones, and a great social experience. We’d love to hear from anyone who is interested.”

Volunteers must be 16 years or over and the application deadline is 14 March. For more information call 0131 273 4020 or visit www.bield.co.uk/join-us/volunteering.

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