In the UK the National Council for Voluntary Organisations hosted a Volunteering in Care Homes Project that involved local volunteer centres recruiting volunteers to undertake befriending and activity-based roles in both residential and nursing homes.
Residents expressed appreciation for the socialising and emotional support offered by volunteers. This included offering long term befriending, helping new residents to find their way, offering bereavement support and generally helping to support people experiencing distress and anxiety.
Although not all Care Homes were as well-resourced or as supportive of volunteers as others, the evaluation showed that staff felt the presence of volunteers had a positive impact on their job (68%) and on their Care Home (89%).
The report noted “In homes where there was little management commitment to the project, where volunteers didn’t have a clear role and where staff had little time for (or training in) volunteer management, the involvement of volunteers struggled to get off the ground.”
Pic: Credit to NHSGGC