Our Business Development Manager for Older People, Yvonne Ogden spoke to Howard from bay.fm about our work with older people as part of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP). The prgramme, which runs across England, Scotland and Wales sees volunteers aged 50 plus use skills and experience gleaned through their lifetime that may have otherwise gone unused, in local projects supporting the most vulnerable. RSVP is responsible for a huge variety of projects across the country, from supporting children reading in schools to providing lay-assessors in care homes.

People wishing to volunteer can sometimes find it hard to find a cause close to their heart. RSVP addresses this by working with people and communities directly to identify and then address local problems. Yvonne – using experience from the current 240 purely volunteer-led groups – helps those passionate about a local cause or need to create a project to address it.

Currently, the Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme engages around 10,000 volunteers in communities across the UK. Many of these volunteers, with the help of Yvonne and Volunteering Matters, have set up their own local groups. In Norfolk, a knitting project that had started in 2009 with a modest 40 knitters now boasts over 3300 knitters, with the project spreading to Essex and Sussex. These “Knit and Natter” groups allow older, isolated people to get out and about and have a sense of purpose, with the knitted goods they create being sent to needy causes regionally, nationally and even internationally.

Similarly, our flagship Sporting Chance programme was recently supported by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery to move into Sheffield after being successfully embedded into the communities of Middlesbrough and Stockton. The Sporting Chance project uses volunteer instigated and led sports and activity sessions to engage with men who may have lost connections and networks as a result of retirement or bereavement.

Find out more on our work with older people here


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