National Volunteer Week – Siana Sahota
Siana Sahota, aged 22, has been volunteering with ExtraCare as a befriender since September 2020.
“I’m a newly qualified social worker and wanted to take a break after finishing university. I decided to become a befriender as it continues to develop the skills needed to be a social worker, as well as, supporting those who wish for more company. I thought this would be a great experience.
“The thing I enjoy about volunteering is getting to know the person and being able to make a difference for those people. It is one of the highlights of my week being able to speak to that person. Additionally, I enjoy having the company of a different person, especially someone from a different generation.
“Throughout my befriending experience I have learnt about the life experiences of somebody else. The person I befriend has taught me so much about remaining hopeful and positive because we only get one life so we should enjoy it to the maximum. This experience has definitely improved my listening and communication skills as especially having to speak on the phone for most of our meetings, I have had to adapt to that change.
“If someone is considering volunteering, I would say to definitely do it because although to begin with you may want to help and support another person, in the end you will learn so much about yourself and others.”
Making Music is Magical
CBSO Cellist Jackie Tyler explains how they use music to connect with the group: “We encourage the residents each to instigate a rhythm or tune and, using our voices, some percussion and a few tuned instruments, we improvise to create a sound world. The workshop is all about nonverbal communication and human interaction, which we stimulate through music-making in a shared and incredibly supportive environment.”
Are you claiming the welfare benefits you are entitled to in your retirement?
Christine, whose parents live at an ExtraCare village, found the assistance invaluable: “Without ExtraCare’s help, we would have had no idea what my parents were entitled to. They helped them work out what they could claim for - it really took some of the financial worries away for them and as a family, offered us peace of mind.”