Communicare’s second oldest Communiteer Audrey Warner is 90 and only just younger than the Queen.
Her neighbour, good friend and a long serving Communiteer of 25 years Stan Stovell introduced Audrey to the charity a couple of years ago.
Audrey spoke to us about her experience as a Communiteer and said: “Joining Communicare, it’s helped me a lot and it’s the first time I’ve felt settled since moving back from Spain where they adore their old and young people.”
After spending most of her life in Spain she returned to England and eventually found herself living next door to Stan 6 years’ ago, who is Communicare’s oldest Communiteer aged nearly 92.
It was her love of people that spurred her on to be a befriender and help with the hospitality – her greatest enjoyment – at our fundraisers and community tea parties.
She said: “It really is very nice, hospitality is what I love doing, people love coming to the community tea parties for a cup of tea, a chat, and you see that even strangers soon get to love each other.”
Our committed, kind-hearted, Communiteers, like Audrey and Stan, act as good neighbours; offering practical and emotional support in a variety of ways.
They can choose their level of involvement and the types of activities they wish to engage in too, which take up as little as 30 minutes to an hour of their week.
Audrey’s favourite part of Communiteering is helping with catering at our community and client events with her friend Sylvia, who is also a Communiteer.
She said: “We’re very quick at getting things done and get on like a house on fire.”
Sylvia knows Audrey from the walking group they both attend.
Audrey’s daily walks of up to 3 miles and weekly walking group trips out are no challenge for her. She said that it is a struggle for her to walk slowly with the group because it is ‘ingrained’ in her to walk quickly from her Naval training days.
She added: “I get up, march out, have a cup of tea, and feel better – As long as I can keep moving I’m happy.”
Stan, despite facing personal health challenges, continues to be able to befriend a client via telephone.
Communiteers who are free between 9am and 4pm during the week can get involved in all sorts of tasks such as one-to-one befriending, transport to activities such as the regular lunch clubs and tea parties that the charity hosts.
Our new Homecoming Project offers short term Communiteer opportunities for individuals and groups such as the WI and Neighbourhood Watch to support people leaving hospital who would benefit from low-level, good neighbourly support in the early stages of returning home.
If you’d like to get involved in any way, big or small, please contact us and we’d be happy to speak with you further about our Communiteering opportunities.