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Calling all volunteers Your town needs you!

Rachel McNabb

Reporter:

Rachel McNabb

HAVE you got some free spare time? If the answer is yes then Good Morning Ballymena needs you.

Good Morning Ballymena provides a vital service for older people in the community and is in desperate need of volunteers.

The free friendly telephone service for adults 60 plus benefits over 100 older people from across the Ballymena area including Cullybackey, Broughshane and Kells.

It is available to anyone who may feel lonely, want a chat or to just brighten up their day.

Volunteers make a telephone call to a member at an agreed time each morning, Monday to Friday, between 9.30am and 12.30pm to check that they are okay and to have a friendly chat.

Volunteers can also pass on information about local services and community events in their area.

If a member does not answer his/her telephone when expected, the telephone volunteer will phone the member's nominated contact.

However, the service cannot be provided without the dedication and support of its volunteers. Currently there are 14 volunteers, 12 women and just two men.

Good Morning Ballymena is appealing to anyone who can spare a few hours a week to get in touch to find out how to help.

David has been volunteering with Good Morning Ballymena for four years and finds the experience “very rewarding”.

He said: “Our role is to contact people who are on their own each morning for a chat. I really enjoy volunteering and I find it very rewarding as you are providing a friendly voice to someone who may feel lonely or isolated.

“I have made lots of friends through my volunteering including a 92 year old man who is one of the people who benefits from the telephone service. I help him with his shopping and we even go to the cinema.”

David continued: “We really need more volunteers because Good Morning Ballymena is a much needed service for the elderly in our community and the more people we can encourage to help the better.

“At the minute we only have two male volunteers so it would be great to hear from more men.”

David added: “We recently had a very successful collection day at Sainsbury's and we have great support from the community. But unfortunately we are short of volunteers and the more we have the more people we can help.”

The aim of Good Morning Ballymena is to reduce isolation and exclusion by taking an active interest in the lives of older and vulnerable members of the community, building relationships with them so that they know they are cared about.

Through the service volunteers can also alert nominated contacts to any potential problems and give support and encouragement, especially where members are recovering from illness or have an accident.

In addition, Good Morning Ballymena aims to help people feel safer at home by giving out safety information.

Good Morning Ballymena is based at 23 William Street in the town centre and can be contacted on 028 2564 0720 or email goodmorningballymena@hotmail.co.uk

Meanwhile, Good Morning Ballymena is hosting a Coffee and Crafts event at their drop-in centre at William Street on Saturday, November 17 from 10am to 2pm.

Join them for coffee and cakes and view their local homemade crafts. Everyone is welcome.

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