Volunteer given national award
Sandra alleviates isolation among elderly
A volunteer who helps alleviate isolation for the elderly in Rutherglen and Cambuslang has received a national award.
Sandra Bannatyne, an area coordinator for the Camglen branch of charity Contact the Elderly, organises monthly tea parties for older people who live alone in the two towns.
This month she was one of three people across the country to receive a Marsh Award. Created by the Marsh Christian Trust, the award recognises people who improve peoples’ lives by contributing their time and energy to others.
Nominated for the award by Contact the Elderly, Sandra supports volunteers to host Sunday afternoon tea parties in their homes for up to eight people aged 75 and over who live alone.
With volunteer drivers also helping the elderly get to and from the party, the event gives people the opportunity to enjoy time out of the house socialising with others.
Sandra, who has volunteered for the charity for almost four years, said: “I was really pleased to be recognised and happy for the group as a whole.
“We have five ladies in our group and they have their individual drivers who have been with them for a few years. The award has lifted us all.”
The busy grandmother added: “I lost my husband and I was going into a new chapter in my life and decided to volunteer and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It’s nice taking the guests out.
“The longer we have been doing it, the more confident they have become and they are looking on the volunteers as friends.”
Morna O’May, head of service in Scotland for Contact the Elderly, said: “Every single one of our volunteers are incredible, donating their time to dramatically improve the lives of our guests. If we could give them all awards we would, but as we cannot, we try to find individuals who have gone above and beyond for the charity and acknowledge their efforts.
“Without volunteers Contact the Elderly couldn’t work, that’s the simple fact. Congratulations to Sandra who is truly deserving of this award.”
To find out more about becoming a guest of or volunteering with Contact the Elderly, contact Morna on 01786 871264 or morna.o’firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer hosts’ homes must have no more than a few steps to enter and a downstairs toilet.
Tackling isolation Sandra, back left, is supported by a number of volunteers and hosts tea parties and days out for over 75s living in Rutherglen and Cambuslang