Community spirit is growing in Leighton-Linslade – and a thriving group aimed at supporting isolated residents is the proof.
Leighton-Linslade Helping Hands met last week to bring its growing number of volunteers together under one roof.
The purpose of the evening’s meeting at The Friends Meeting House was to provide advice on how to be a good volunteer when visiting residents in town.
It also opened the doors to interested members of the public who wanted to know more about its work.
The group now includes a wide range of ages – from 22 to 85 – and an impressive array of professions including child protection, public relations, nursing, working with London Underground and full-time mums to name but a few. All those with a few hours to spare for volunteering are welcome.
Acting chairman Annie Taylor said: “Our volunteers are coming from so many different directions, but they all have a genuine interest in getting to know people in town, people who can’t get out of their homes any longer.
“We are getting so many new people who want to join, which is a great endorsement for community involvement.”
Martine Webb, the group’s co-chairman, said: “The evening was intended to give volunteers some guidelines on how to stay safe and put our clients at their ease when doing a visit.
“After the induction we were able to offer everyone homemade cakes and tea so the volunteers could get to know one another. It was such a success we’ll be doing it regularly.”
The group is also working on a short booklet of residents’ memories about life in the war, both on the Home Front and fighting in Europe.
“We meet once a month,” explained volunteer Mary Fox “and we collect fascinating snippets from life during the war. We get quite a lot of animated stories about serving up Spam, Anderson shelters and life as a Land Girl.”
The aim is for the collected memories to be put into booklet form and distributed to local school children.
Mrs Taylor aded: “It’s worth remembering that many of the people who survived these extraordinary circumstances are now living alone, in need of a good neighbour.”
If you would like to volunteer or would like to request a home visit call their helpline 07581 799273