Pam Ollis, who runs Alzheimer's Support's activity groups in North Wiltshire, emailed Volunteer Co-ordinator Annie Clayton recently with an update on her team of volunteers. Her message in full is below...

Hi Annie,

I could not put properly into words the gratitude I have for my volunteers.

I am so lucky to work with such brilliant people who work so hard and give so much, especially in these Covid times when we have to clean, clean, clean everywhere and everything.  I am really happy to be back in groups working with my teams of fabulous volunteers who make my job so much fun.  

Annie, I could talk all day about how lovely they are. I can honestly say that in the last few weeks since the groups have got back I have laughed so much and so hard, especially with my Chippenham ladies. Every time I have to open up another group I think, how can I do this, they keep on stepping up and volunteering for this and that. Almost all of my volunteers help in more than one of our groups, some are now doing four groups! 

An example today from Memory Café in Chippenham. We were there by 9am for a briefing by the hall staff before everyone started rigorous cleaning then setting up, meeting, greeting and helping the participants with the craft activity. Then taking down, followed by extensive cleaning (again). We were out at 12.30 and I don’t think they even stopped properly for a cup of tea!  This is the reality of volunteering in these difficult times.   

On top of that, today Ann was cooking up a separate fundraising project for Royal Wootton Bassett,  Joy had only secured the hall opening for us by promising extensive additional cleaning measures which she was implementing and Brenda was just a whirl of activity - she moves so fast you can’t see her but she leaves order in place of chaos. Meanwhile Heather was busy chatting to our people and helping with crafting and Ann, after working so hard, then came with me after the Memory Cafe to meet a council official in the pouring rain to help arrange details for the new Muddy Boots group in Chippenham!   

Hope that gives a bit of background and yes let's shout about how much our wonderful volunteers do for us, it does not get recognised enough!   xx

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