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Addaction’s Volunteer Celebration Tea and Cake Party

Written by Becky Higgins

I was lucky enough to be invited to Addaction’s Volunteer Celebration Tea and Cake Party to meet some of their wonderful volunteers, and of course eat cake! It was a rainy Friday but volunteers, supporters, staff and dogs ventured out to be warmly greeted by Nat and Billy, 2 of the Addaction Staff, and to learn more about the roles volunteers play in supporting this organisation.

Displays were shown on posters all around the room detailing each volunteer, the roles they play within the organisation and the reason they came to volunteer with Addaction.

Read more: Addaction’s Volunteer Celebration Tea and Cake Party

New Digital Software to Help Reduce Loneliness in Cornwall

People who are lonely in Cornwall will soon find it easier to access activities in their community following a new partnership between Cornwall Council and Elemental, a digital social prescribing programme.

This new software will upgrade the existing social prescribing service being led by Cornwall Council’s public health team and its partners Volunteer Cornwall, along with Active PlusAge UK CornwallChaos CaféCN4CEden Project and Pentreath Ltd.

Read more: New Digital Software to Help Reduce Loneliness in Cornwall

Transform Ageing: Arts participation, creativity can Make It Better

Ruth Purdy doesn’t remember the moment she decided to be an artist. “It feels like the only thing I can do,” she says. “It’s kept me going from quite small.”

Purdy, who lives just outside Falmouth in Cornwall, is the founder of a community interest company called Make It Better, which shares creative tools with vulnerable communities in Cornwall. Make It Better brings the health and wellbeing benefits that Purdy has always felt innately from her work to a wider community of people who need it most in care homes and other similar facilities.

Make It Better, which was registered as a Community Interest Company in November, is supported by a £5,000 Transform Ageing grant towards business expenses, like accountancy fees, disclosure barring fees, prints and marketing. The grant, alongside partnerships with other foundations in the region, has allowed Purdy to radically expand her practice to bring in nurseries, libraries, care homes, camera clubs and more.

Arts participation is seen as a vital part of healthy ageing, especially in the South West and Cornwall, where a third of people will be aged over 65 years old by 2036.

Read more: Transform Ageing: Arts participation, creativity can Make It Better

Welcome Home Volunteer Update

With our Welcome Home band of volunteers, we try and organise meet ups where current volunteers and new recruits can attend and share their Welcome Home experiences and knowledge.

We have held two of these meet ups – one in the East in Liskeard and another more Westerly in Truro. It is always tricky getting all our volunteers together on a certain day.

We wanted to make the most of the opportunity by supplying copious amounts of leaflets on services/organisations and agencies that might prove helpful when visiting a client. As a countywide scheme we rely on our volunteers to have local knowledge that might be useful for our clients.

Read more: Welcome Home Volunteer Update

Transforming Health & Social Care

A lot of the work Volunteer Cornwall undertakes revolves around the health and care agenda. And although we do deliver some services ourselves, such as "Welcome Home", much of our work is "behind the scenes" - working with voluntary and public sector colleagues to try and join up some of the gaps in the system between health and care, adults and children or physical and mental health services.

We believe that there is a role for both individuals and communities in a joined-up health and care system and our three "Community Makers" are tasked with trying to make that a reality.

Recently, the respected health think-tank, "The Kings Fund", has produced a couple of reports recently which support the work we have been doing:

Read more: Transforming Health & Social Care