Local charity Caring Together Whitby is appealing to local people to ‘Share your Sunshine’ this summer as part of a campaign for new volunteers to help them combat loneliness and isolation amongst carers and older people living alone in Whitby and district.
While many people are currently planning their summer holiday or looking forward to day trips to the seaside, for carers and older people living alone, opportunities to get out and about and enjoy the sunshine are often very rare.
Many feel lonely and isolated, particularly those living in rural areas with little or no access to public transport.
Caring Together works hard to tackle this problem in the Whitby area by providing a free volunteer sitting service for carers and a volunteer visiting service for older people living on their own who would benefit from some company and a friendly face visiting them on a regular basis.
Annie, 76 lives in a remote village in the Esk Valley and is caring for her husband who has dementia. They have no family nearby and Annie was feeling increasingly isolated from her friends and local community.
She heard about Caring Together through a friend and decided to give them a call. She now has a volunteer visitor who visits once a week for a couple of hours and it has made a positive difference to their lives.
Annie says: “I have always enjoyed socialising, but as my husband’s health deteriorated we were no longer able to get out like we used to and I found it difficult to get out at all as I can’t leave him on his own.
“I was becoming lonely and depressed, but now I have a volunteer sitter who has become a kind companion to my husband and enables me to enjoy a weekly coffee morning with friends.
“The service has been a lifeline for us.’
Both services rely on a team of dedicated volunteers and the charity’s Community Development Worker, Sarah Lally-Marley is keen to encourage local people to consider using a small amount of their spare time to make a big difference to the lives of those at risk of loneliness and isolation.
“As the demand for our services increases we are in desperate need of more volunteers who can spare a couple of hours a week or fortnight to enable us to help everyone who approaches us for support,” says Sarah.
“While everyone is busy planning their summer holidays and enjoying the warmer weather, we are asking people to consider ‘sharing their sunshine’ by giving a small amount of their time on a regular basis so that carers and older people living alone can enjoy their summer too.”
Sarah will be holding drop in sessions in local community libraries and the Supermobile library bus over the next couple of weeks, so if you would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer visitor or you’d like further information on the free sitting and visiting services you can pop in for an informal chat.
Thursday May 18 – Staithes, Supermobile Library (coach park), 5-7pm
Thursday June 1 – Danby, Supermobile Library (village hall car park), 10.30am-12.30pm; Whitby Library, 1-3pm
Monday June 5 – Sleights, Supermobile Library, 1.30-3.30pm
If you would like to join the charity’s friendly team of volunteers you can contact them directly on 01947 605757 or visit for www.caringtogetherwhitbyanddistrict.org for further information.