VOLUNTEER COLUMN: Winter can be a cold, lonely and/or difficult time for some people, and you could make a difference just by donating a few hours of your time.

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Here are some of the ways you could help those that might be lonely or need a little extra support at this time of year.

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Good neighbours volunteer – Royal Voluntary Service

Royal Voluntary Service volunteers support thousands of older people every day to stay independent in their own home

Good neighbours and befriending volunteers are needed to visit older people at home and tasks may include: carrying out safe, warm and well checks; chatting and offering regular friendly, social contact; post office or prescription collections; assisting with shopping or food preparation; providing transport; general household jobs and helping the older person to access other services if necessary.

This is an ideal opportunity if you want to make new friends, to develop your skills and experience and contribute to the work of the charity by enriching the lives of older people and helping them get the best from life.

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Phone support volunteer – Carers Support West Sussex

Carers Support helps carers from all communities across West Sussex by providing practical information and emotional support.

As a phone support volunteer, you will provide a confidential telephone support for carers on a monthly basis, for carers to off-load their thoughts and feelings.

Tasks will include: monthly phone support calls to carers who have been referred to emotional support, providing active listening, response, reassurance and personalised support to enable carers to share emotions to reduce stress and feelings of loneliness and isolation, identifying any carer needs (i.e. support groups or pamper events) and signposting/referring carers to our single point of contact number for booking or further information.

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Housebound reader service volunteer – West Sussex Library Service

West Sussex Library Service is looking for volunteers to select, deliver and return books and other stock for people who are unable to travel to or use their nearest library due to age, illness or disability.

Tasks will include: selecting books and other stock (e.g. audiobooks) to suit the requirements of your reader, delivering books and other stock to your reader and returning books to the library, reserving specific items if necessary, helping your reader to be aware of the full range of items available in the library, using the self-service machines to issue items to your volunteer’s ticket and return items, and communicating any queries or concerns to library staff.

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Volunteer recovery coach, family coach and community coach – Emerging Futures CIC

Emerging Futures CIC believes that everyone has the potential to grow, learn and achieve the best they can in everything they do.

They are looking for volunteers to work in the community supporting people in recovery from addiction – working towards building a recovery community across West Sussex.

Role requirements are as follows: recovery coach – in their own sustained recovery for six months or more; family coach – have experience of family member addiction; community coach – want to make a difference in their community.

You must be over 18 for this role and a DBS check will be required.

• For more information on any of the above roles, please call Volunteer Now! on 01243 864220, or visit www.do-it.org. For bite-sized volunteering of ten days or less please visit skillshare-westsussex.org.uk

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