To celebrate Volunteers’ Week we spoke to three Volunteer Ambassadors who have been working together to make a difference in Huddersfield.
Maureen W and Jean met because their husbands were in the same care home. They were both getting the support of an Admiral Nurse at the time and they became good friends. When the opportunity came up to become Volunteer Ambassadors they decided to go for it, and Jean’s long term friend Maureen M found out about the scheme and decided to apply too. The three became our first group of Volunteer Ambassadors in Huddersfield.
Why did you decide to become a Volunteer Ambassador for Dementia UK?
Jean: I became a Volunteer Ambassador following the wonderful support given to me by my Admiral Nurse I realised Dementia UK is a much needed charity and not necessarily as well-known as some of the larger ones.
Maureen W: It was Katie my Admiral Nurse who initially asked if I would consider becoming a Volunteer Ambassador. I had no hesitation in applying to become an Ambassador because of the support I had personally received whilst caring for Michael, my husband.
Maureen M: I wanted to offer my support in any way I could as I saw what wonderful support Jean’s Admiral Nurse gave to her. I wanted to help raise awareness as to what an amazing job they do.
Since joining Dementia UK the three have been instrumental supporting the Mayor of Kirklees who has been supporting us as charity of the year. They have also been doing bag packs, lunches, fashion shows, and generally getting everyone they meet inspired to support Dementia UK.
How have you found the experience of supporting the Mayor of Kirklees?
Jean: Supporting the Mayor’s chosen charity has been a fun year. Our Mayor, Christine, is so passionate about supporting dementia charities and spreading the word that it has been an honour to support her and share in the wonderful events that we have been involved in.
Maureen W: I have personally enjoyed supporting the Mayor of Kirklees during her year in office. In turn I have met so many interesting people. I found it personally rewarding but hopefully it has helped to raise awareness of dementia and very importantly raise funds for the charity.
Maureen M: Working with the Mayor has certainly been an enjoyable experience. We’ve met so many inspirational people and I’ve really enjoyed supporting all the fundraising events. We’ve certainly got around!
What have you enjoyed about being a Volunteer Ambassador?
Jean: Being a Dementia UK ambassador give me purpose. It means that I can give something back for the wonderful support that Admiral Nurses have given to me. What I have enjoyed is hearing the comments from the general public when we have been fundraising – most people’s lives are touched by dementia and hearing stories from strangers about their loved ones, seeing the donations dropping into the collecting boxes warms my heart.
Maureen W: For me being a Volunteer Ambassador has helped fill a massive void in my life since Michael went into the nursing home two years ago. It has given me a sense of purpose and has certainly boosted my confidence. I particularly enjoy attending the Admiral Nurses Inductions, speaking to groups about my caring roll and the effect dementia has on the whole family and generally raising awareness of the need for more Admiral Nurses.
Maureen M: I have worked at many events raising awareness and particularly enjoyed the bag packing events as I have met so many different people from all walks of life and enjoyed talking to them about their own struggles and how Dementia has affected them and their families. It’s been very rewarding knowing people have benefited from me taking time to have a few words with them.
How have you found it having other the Volunteer Ambassadors working with you?
Jean: Working with the other ambassadors is fantastic, we’ve built up a wonderful friendship and support each other.
Maureen W: Working with other local Ambassadors has been a great pleasure. We all share the same passion of raising awareness and showing our support for the work done by Dementia UK.
Maureen M: Working with Jean and Maureen over the past 18months has been really good. We all get on so well and we’ve talked, cried and most of all laughed together! We all have the same focus on doing our utmost to raise awareness and raise funds for the charity which is so close to our hearts
We want to say a special thank you to Maureen W, Jean and Maureen M for all of their hard work supporting Dementia UK.
If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Ambassador please follow this link where you will find the role description and application form.