Dave, a volunteer with Royal Voluntary Service, has been given royal recognition as part of the official coronation celebrations.
Dave volunteers with Royal Voluntary Service Memory Lane project in Newport which works with members of the local community who are living with different stages of dementia.
He was one of 500 people to receive a Coronation Champions Awards for his outstanding volunteering efforts.
As a Community Transport volunteer, Dave is responsible, three times a week, for driving people living with dementia and their carers to the club so they can access vital support and socialise with others. Some are extremely isolated – without Dave transporting them to the dementia club each week, they would not leave the house.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Dave said: ‘After retiring I had more time on my hands and had the desire to help others. I spoke to my wife, who has now unfortunately passed, about it and decided to take up volunteering. It’s been a great experience and I’m so glad I decided to do it.’
Following the long periods of lockdown and isolation during the pandemic, many of the service’s clients found it difficult to get back into the community and struggled with their confidence. Dave played a crucial role in getting clients to reconnect with their community. Not only did he provide them with safe and comfortable journeys once they decided to come back to the group, but he also played a key part in ensuring they remained socially connected. He enabled many people to regain confidence in leaving their homes.
Dave is highly appreciated by clients and carers, who all agree that he is a remarkable volunteer. Dave is known for being compassionate and caring, he is always willing to get involved and lend a hand. His willingness to say ‘yes’ has seen him save the day more than once.
QUICK AND WILLING TO ACT
On one unfortunate occasion when a client had a stroke, Dave was quick to act, prioritising the client’s health and taking them to the hospital to ensure they received medical care.
And again, last year, when the Memory Lane Wales Service Manager fell ill on the day of a Christmas Party, with all the party food at her home, Dave was quick to act, happily volunteering to deliver the food to the club. If it wasn’t for him, the group would not have been able to enjoy their Christmas meal.
A LONG TRACK RECORD
Dave first volunteered with a befriending service in Caerphilly which addressed loneliness and isolation. He later joined the Positive Steps Service, a collaboration between the British Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service which supported people over 50 who experience loneliness, have been through a personal crisis, or simply need extra support in their community.
He has been volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service for over six years and is known and loved for his compassion, his initiative and his willingness to help others in any way he can.
Dave said, ‘I enjoy volunteering, it’s an easy way to give back to others. Everyone is always so appreciative and kind, which makes it all worthwhile.’
ABOUT HELPFORCE CYMRU
Helpforce Cymru is working with Third Sector Support Wales (WCVA and the 19 County Voluntary Councils), Welsh Government and other partners to develop the potential of volunteering to support health and social care services in Wales.
We are grateful to Royal Voluntary Service for permission to publish Dave’s story.