LIVE - The magazine for Optivo residents Winter 2017 - Page 8

LONDON news Many of our older residents with low level mental health needs can feel cut off from the world around them; they just need a little help to reconnect. That’s why we’ve launched our V50 volunteer programme in London. It aims to help those who may be isolated to feel a part of their community again. We’ve been recruiting volunteers aged over 50 in London who can mentor a resident over a period of three months. Find out why Grahame Newton signed up. He said: “I was made redundant from my job in housing and it’s been difficult trying to get back into employment. I began volunteering because I felt it would help me improve my skills and learn new things, stimulate and challenge me as well as give me discipline and a structure. “V50 appealed to me because it was also a chance to give something back, and I had experience of working with older people in my previous job. I really enjoyed popping in to have a cup of tea with them and hear all their stories. Sometimes older people can be pushed to the margins and they can become quite isolated; having a chat can make all the difference. It may be the only chance they have to talk to someone in a day – or a few days. We had great fun at our Community Day at John Morris House, Battersea, in October. Thank you to all who came along to enjoy the music, dancing, food, bouncy castle and face painting! It was great to see you there. “As a volunteer I’m learning new things and meeting new people. In addition, I’m also doing something really worthwhile by helping older people reconnect with their communities and the local resources available to them.” If you’re interested in a volunteering role with Optivo, you can find out more on our website: www.optivo.org.uk/ volunteers or phone 020 3202 3826. Residents at Paul Byrne House in Barnet got into the Halloween mood with these spooktacular costumes and an evening of fun activities, including bobbing for apples. 8