LEAP needs you!
7 November 2023
LEAP calls for South Lanarkshire residents to join its frontline volunteer team
Elderly charity LEAP is looking for people in South Lanarkshire with a couple of hours a week to spare to join its band of volunteer befrienders, friendship group supporters, handypersons and drivers.
The charity, which works to enhance the lives of people in South Lanarkshire aged 50 and over, already has a team of more than 120 volunteers, but still cannot cope with demand for its services.
Iain English, one of LEAP’s befriending officers, said: “Our waiting lists are unfortunately closed just now as we cannot keep taking on new potential clients when we cannot promise them any support.
WE NEED YOU! ... Helen, Iain, Heather and Kevin need your help.
“It is really frustrating at a time when referrers, such as social work departments, are asking us to do so much more, and to support more people with complex needs.
“We give volunteers comprehensive and quality training, and cover their expenses, but post-pandemic we still cannot attract enough people to join us to help us match volunteers to clients and clear our waiting lists.
“We could also do with drivers to help get people out of their homes and to our friendship groups as they are often unable to travel on public transport.”
The situation is similar for Kevin Key, LEAP’s handyperson service co-ordinator. Kevin said: “We have taken on more than 500 jobs in the past year alone, and we could have done a lot more besides.
“I have a small team of active volunteers who will do everything from changing a lightbulb to fitting new curtain poles or helping set up TVs, but we need more people who can help around the home to join us.
“We also take on bigger jobs such as fitting smoke alarms and keysafes or building flat-pack furniture, which we do at very competitive rates to help pay for our volunteers’ training and expenses, and again, we could do so much more with more volunteers available.”
Iain also said: “We know that other charities are facing the same issue, especially post-COVID as a lot of people who volunteered during the outbreak have now gone back to work and can’t afford the time.
“But at the same time, it is older people who are feeling most isolated and in need of support to stay safe in their homes or have someone friendly to talk to.
“If anyone would like to join us, or knows someone who might, Kevin and I would love to hear from them.”
To find out more about volunteering for LEAP, visit www.leap-project.co.uk, or call 0141 641 5169 and ask to speak to one of our befriending team or Kevin.