Care Words and volunteering
Care Words is a Falkirk Libraries' initiative that uses stories, reminiscence and a range of other activities to bring older people together and help combat isolation.
Are you friendly, patient and have a passion for reading? You could train to become a Care Words volunteer. You'll develop new skills, meet new people and make a real difference to the lives of older people in the Falkirk area.
If this sounds like something that interests you, have a look at the information below and contact Claire, our Care Words Co-ordinator, for an informal chat.
What is Care Words?
Care Words is a Big Lottery-funded project run by Falkirk Community Trust Libraries. It involves volunteers working in pairs visiting and delivering the Care Words reading and reminiscence sessions within various local care settings.
We aim to reduce the isolation sometimes felt by older adults by bringing groups of people together to explore stories, poetry and literature, generating conversations and stimulating memories.
As a free library service for care homes we hope to improve people's lives and provide a source of entertainment for some of the most vulnerable in society.
We'd like to help people become more empowered, improve their well-being, self-esteem, and confidence and establish or strengthen existing friendships. Overall we hope group members and volunteers enjoy themselves and have fun at these interactive sessions.
Sessions take place in care settings in the Falkirk area, however volunteers from other areas and districts are very welcome to get involved.
The Care Words sessions take place throughout the daytime, initially Monday to Friday.
What skills are required for this project?
Volunteers should be patient, understanding, friendly, approachable and caring. You should enjoy reading and/or literature and be a good communicator with great listening skills. You should also be interested in helping to improve the lives of older adults.
How much time and commitment would I need to give to this volunteering opportunity?
You can volunteer for as much time as you are able. The minimum requirement is 90 minutes per month for an initial 6 months. This is equivalent of delivering one Care Words session per month.
Why do I need to commit for 6 months?
With all volunteering opportunities there are procedures in place to recruit, process PVG scheme membership and carry out an induction.
Who will I be working with?
Volunteers will work in pairs during the sessions, supporting each other. We will try to match volunteers with suitable partners.
It is also important to note that volunteers will be working with vulnerable adults and some group members may be living with dementia, affected by illness, have sensory impairments and be frail or elderly. Our volunteers should be compassionate, patient and have an understanding of the group member’s needs.
What does a Care Words session involve?
The Care Words Co-ordinator will have already met with and assessed the care setting, gathering vital information for the volunteers. There will be a variety of resources available for these sessions such as texts, books, poetry, large print, audiobooks and reminiscence materials.
How long will a Care Words session last?
90 minutes: 15 minutes set up time, a 60 minute session and 15 minutes to gather feedback.
Will I need to write or complete any paperwork?
To ensure we provide an excellent service it’s important we complete a short evaluation of each session and gather feedback from the group members. This helps us make sure sessions are relevant to the attendees and reflect their interests.
Who will support me?
You will be supported throughout your volunteering by the Care Words Co-ordinator.
Will I receive any training?
Each volunteer will go through an induction and also be asked to attend an in-house specially designed training course prior to delivering sessions. Through regular support meetings volunteers will then be able to identify any additional training they may need.
Will I receive travelling expenses?
Yes! Our volunteers will not be out of pocket and will be reimbursed for their travel whilst on duty delivering the Care Words Sessions.
I am interested! – What do I do now?
Get in touch with Claire, the Care Words Co-ordinator, by calling 01324 503614 or emailing Claire.Davis@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.