Celebrating our volunteers
Richard Hughes, 90, from Southport is Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton’s oldest volunteer.
Having dedicated over 1,500 hours of his time to support those who are bereft, lonely and, often, without hope, he is the well deserving winner of our Volunteer of the Year Award 2022.
“Becoming a befriending volunteer changed my life and made all the difference in the world to me after the death of my wife. Volunteering gave me a purpose which I still enjoy to this day.”
We have around 140 wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time selflessly to our cause so it is extremely difficult to choose any one volunteer for an award as they all support their community and are the heart of our service!
As our most senior befriending volunteer, Richard celebrated his 90th birthday this year, and is still going strong; offering both telephone and visiting support to two clients.
In 2007 Richard began volunteering after receiving bereavement counselling on the death of his wife, when he was identified as someone who could share his experiences of being without the close and very special friendship he had known throughout his married life with others who were experiencing loneliness and isolation.
Over the last fifteen years, Richard has supported over twenty clients throughout the Sefton Area (both male and female) and, as Richard doesn’t drive, has had to make his own way by taxi each time.
Richard’s volunteering activities also include regularly singing in residential homes and day centres in Sefton, aided and abetted by his daughter/ roadie, Debbie, who helps carry his PA equipment into each venue, and generally manages Richard’s diary and ensures his safety throughout all of his visits.
During the successive Lockdowns, Richard had to confine his outreach to telephoning only; however, once the restrictions on visiting were lifted, Richard immediately booked his first taxi to take him to a client to offer face-to-face support.
Richard explains, “becoming a befriending volunteer changed my life and made all the difference in the world to me after the death of my wife. Volunteering gave me a purpose which I still enjoy to this day.”
Even without Richard’s singing exploits, he has given over 1,500 hours of his time to support those who are bereft, lonely and, often, without hope. As the Elder Statesman of our Befriending Service, Richard still has much impart and is an example of dedication and commitment, and is a great advert for what volunteering can give in return.
Richard joins a number of amazing volunteers from across a range of charities who were presented with awards for their commitment and dedication to volunteering. The awards ceremony took place at the Titanic Hotel in Sept 2022.
With hundreds of thousands of elderly people lonely and cut off from society in this country – now, more than ever, they need our support.
Volunteers play a vital role in everything we do and we value their contribution and commitment. Without them our charity could not make the tremendous difference it does to the lives of older people in Liverpool & Sefton.
If you have time each week to spare, please look at our list of volunteering opportunities on our website. We would love to welcome you to the team.