Call for more help as charity reaches out

Sudbury has a shortage of people willing to help welfare and voluntary groups, according to one of the town’s charities.

Age UK, which runs three projects in Sudbury, is desperately short of volunteers and it has launched an appeal to find people.

It needs people to help in a number of roles, including sitting and playing cards and talking with older people at its Chilton Day Centre.

Michelle Blom, who looks after the charity’s volunteer programme, said: “There seems to be a shortage of volunteers in Sudbury and we are not really sure why.

“Unfortunately, the woman who runs the Volunteer Centre at the Christopher Centre in Gainsborough Street is not there at the moment and we used to get people that way. We also use the Do It website to let people know what help we need.”

Age UK Suffolk runs the Chilton Day Centre, in Martins Road, supporting people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and also providing respite for family carers. It also runs the Befriending Scheme, which matches volunteers with people who are looking for someone to talk to either face-to-face or over the telephone, and it has a charity shop in North Street.

There are around 43 befriending volunteers and the charity would like to increase the number as there is a demand for the service. It has one 97-year-old volunteer who comes from Clare who is a telephone befriender.

“We need friendly, outgoing people who are can relate to other people and are able to chat,” said Michelle. “There are a variety of different jobs but some of them include helping in the garden and kitchen at the day centre and helping put out food.

“But even people who can sit and talk to others and play cards with them or read to them would be good.”

To find out more, contact Jilly Vince, manager at Chilton Day Centre, on 01787 376990.