04:40AM, Saturday 07 June 2014
A service aimed to help alleviate loneliness in older people is urgently seeking more volunteers.
The Good Neighbours' Service, run by the Berkshire branch of the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), requires more men and women to offer up one hour of their week to brighten the lives of those less fortunate.
Rachelle Walker, of Alwyn Road, Maidenhead, has been volunteering as a 'good neighbour' for two years.
She visits two women separately each week and says offering her time is both 'easy and rewarding.'
The 58-year-old spends one hour with former nurse and partially blind pensioner Joan Allanach at Clara Court Care Home in Courthouse Road.
Rachelle, a project manager who worked on the London 2012 opening ceremony, varies the activities they do each week which might include reading the newspaper, listening to music or doing crosswords.
She said: "It stimulates Joan's mind and it makes her feel good.
"At the end of the day it is an exchange, I am helping her and she is giving something back to me," said Rachelle who has received tips from Joan on ballroom dancing.
"People think is a one-way street. It isn't,"
"I see another woman with a very debilitating muscular disease.
"She gets to talk to someone else - and not about her disease.
"We are not qualified in health matters but we are qualified as human beings to talk to other humans.
"Taking 60 minutes of my time is nothing."
RVS also requires volunteers to help runs its cafe at St Mark's Hospital in St Mark's Road and help at the York Community Centre in York Road.
Visit royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/berkshire for details.
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