Older people doing various arts and crafts

Engaging with care home residents

Published: 14/09/22 | Categories: Volunteering, Author: Fiona Liddell

Age Cymru is working with volunteers & artist practitioners to engage care home residents in meaningful conversations & to design & deliver bespoke programmes of activity to enhance their wellbeing.

Last year, supported by Helpforce Cymru at WCVA and by Welsh Government, Age Cymru piloted a model for involving volunteers in care homes. A toolkit was produced which includes publicity information, guidance and templates that will be useful to other organisations who want to work with care homes to develop volunteering.

The initial project aimed to enable safe visits during the pandemic restrictions. Now, follow up Welsh Government funding has allowed the work to develop in ways that will be more exciting and positive for all concerned.


Volunteers will be trained and supported by professional artistic practitioners to hold meaningful conversations with residents, using a set of prompt cards to discuss life history, interests, hopes and aspirations. The approach was developed to enable residents to share their experiences and views during the pandemic.

The care home activity coordinator, together with the artist, will then be able to identify emerging themes and to design a programme to address the wishes and needs of the residents. Further volunteers will be recruited to support the delivery of this.


Nine homes are taking part in the project:

  • Glan Rhos – Anglesey
  • Ysguborwen – Aberdare
  • Ty Coch, Llanishen, Cardiff
  • Llys Cyncoed – Cardiff
  • Duffryn Ffrwd Nursing Home, Nantgarw.
  • Plas Bryn Rhosyn – Neath
  • Capel Grange – Newport
  • Llys y Seren – Port Talbot
  • Ty Nant – Port Talbot

Volunteers will play a crucial role in supporting activities in the home such as music, art, light exercise, and family events. They will also support meaningful conversations with residents to inform the delivery of the project, based upon the ideas of people living and working in the care home.

To volunteer or to find out more, contact carehomevolunteer@agecymru.org.uk.