VOLUNTEER CORNER: February 28, 2019

Side by Side is a programme run by the Alzheimer’s Society where by they try to overcome some of the loneliness that we know is so frequently felt by someone living with dementia.

We pair them up with a volunteer, on the basis of a shared interest or hobby, so that with their volunteer’s support they can continue to get out and about to do the things they love.

It’s a fun, super-flexible volunteering opportunity that brings joy into someone’s life by empowering them to continue playing an active part in their community. Visits take place on a weekly basis and usually last for a couple of hours.

Whatever the person decides they’d like to do, together you decide when and where.

The range of things you might do together is endless – from going to a local football match to catching the latest movie, from walking round the park to having a catch-up over coffee, from going shopping to visiting a museum.

Whatever you do end up doing, you can rest assured you’ll be making a genuine difference to someone. This role will suit you if you want to support, enable and empower people with dementia. You need to be a good verbal communicator with great listening skills, especially face-to-face.

You’ll be happy volunteering on your own but also be happy to keep in touch with the team.

We provide all the training that you need for your role and this includes two days’ face to face training together with some online learning, totalling about two and half days. We provide regular on-going support and you’d be part of the UK leading charity for people affected by dementia.


Age UK Reading supports the elderly across Wokingham Borough and the Reading area.

Their Lively Living Woodley Friday club offers clients an opportunity to meet up with friends as well as have a nourishing meal, and we want our clubs to be a comfortable and welcoming place for our clients to visit – the well-being and enjoyment of our clients is of first importance to us.

Our Woodley Club is run at The Birches, Woodlands Avenue every Friday. They serve a hot meal and provide various activities for our clients to participate in.

The hours are 10am to 2pm. Most volunteers come in on a weekly basis, but we are always happy to consider other arrangements such as working every other week.


Please contact us at The Wokingham Volunteer Centre for more information– Tel. 0118 977 0749, email volunteer@wok-vol.org.uk  or visit our website www.volunteerwokinghamborough.org.uk to find out more and have a look at all the roles on offer.  

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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