Archie Hannah (pictured)
Volunteer – Royal Voluntary Service
Royal Voluntary Service would normally be supporting people in hospitals and communities, but many of their face-to-face services have been interrupted due to COVID-19. Archie is just one of their thousands of volunteers helping his community.
Thanks to vital funding, staff and volunteers at Royal Voluntary Service have been able to adapt and mobilise to support communities.
This includes shopping and medication deliveries, transport to urgent medical appointments and safe and well phone calls.
Archie Hannah is 68 and lives in Stirlingshire. He’s been volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service since January, and since lockdown began he’s clocked up well over 250 hours of service.
“I’ve been involved in the care sector for over 20 years. I started entertaining residents in care homes after I took early retirement to look after my children; who were nine and 14 when my wife sadly passed away.
“I have always enjoyed helping others and, in January this year, joined Royal Voluntary Service. I am now incredibly busy supporting vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to do something useful in the community and play such an important part in helping people, who would be entirely vulnerable without our support – especially during this difficult time.
“A typical day of volunteering starts at 9am, when I telephone clients who need support. Some of them are older people, others can be younger with disabilities; no two clients are the same.
“As well as making sure they’re safe and well, I also make sure they have the help they need and take time to have a chat.
“A lot of people are feeling very isolated and lonely right now, so a good natter can do wonders for their wellbeing!
“Being able to help others during such a challenging time is incredibly rewarding. Clients have been most appreciative and often say, ‘What would I do without you?’
“Knowing that we are often their only support network motivates me to keep helping them.
“It’s been very beneficial to my own health. It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to do something useful in the community and play such an important part in helping people, who would be entirely vulnerable without our support – especially during this difficult time.
“My son is now a consultant anaesthetist working directly with COVID-19 patients, so it’s heart-warming to think we’re both helping.
“Volunteering during the pandemic has shown me a new way of helping people, and has shown me the great contributions made by all Royal Voluntary Service volunteers, through the ‘giving of their time’.
“Even after all of this is over; I will always be helping with Royal Voluntary Service – although I won’t be doing quite so many hours!”