01:23AM, Wednesday 13 March 2013
A pilot scheme offering incentives to volunteers who visit vulnerable elderly people is to be renewed for a second year.
The CareBank scheme is being run by the WRVS (Women's Royal Voluntary Service) in partnership with the Royal Borough. It offers 'credits' to volunteers prepared to visit isolated elderly people and help them with small tasks.
The credits can be used to get reduced rates at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead or Windsor Leisure Centre, at borough libraries, at the Firestation Arts Centre, Braywick Heath Nurseries or the Running Man cafe in Dedworth.
The pilot CareBank scheme has ended its first year and this week its co-ordinator Sue Gibson said that a healthy 66 people had registered as volunteers during that time, an increase on previous that suggested the scheme had proved a valuable attraction.
It has now been extended for another year.
Sue said: "Most of the volunteers come from Windsor and Maidenhead. Now we would like to have more from the villages.
"We have 175 people who would like to use our service and many of them are in villages. Some of them feel lonely and vulnerable. They want someone to sit and talk with them and help out, maybe with some shopping or light housework."
Sue uses a computer system to match up volunteers with people who sign up to use the service. Volunteers must be over 16 and are asked to commit to a minimum of one hour a week, although there is no cap on the credits they can earn.
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