The art of providing good care isn’t just about the cleanliness and ambience of a beautiful home, or the kind, well-trained staff that provide a first class caring service. It also includes the contribution of those overlooked individuals who so freely and selfishly give of their time.

The people I’m talking about are the volunteers. People, who I believe, are worth far more than their weight in gold.

The Corner Lodge volunteers visit the home on a regular basis, in all weathers, during evenings and weekends to spend time with the residents – making a huge difference in their day. We assume that every resident has family somewhere, but sadly, that is not always the case. This makes it all the more important that those residents in particular has a kind-hearted volunteer to spend time with them.

Corner Lodge specialises in dementia care and it goes without saying that the behaviour of some of our residents can be challenging. But, as I stand back a little and watch the utter patience of our fantastic volunteers, I find myself wondering if they are really angels dressed as people. And then of course there are those who volunteer “behind the scenes”, giving their time and talents to assisting in the Kitchen or with office duties.

As the Activities Coordinator, it is part of my job to recruit volunteers; The prospective volunteer is required to complete an application form, be interviewed, pass a CRB and ISA check, obtain references, and complete induction training. Many of the volunteers choose to take part in training offered by the home (i.e.: moving and handling, dementia, fire safety, etc.) to give them a better understanding of the residents’ needs as well as learning ways to help ensure their safety.

The Directors, Manager, Staff and I are all very grateful for the time, love, dedication, and hard work the Corner Lodge volunteers continue to generously share. Last year, we set aside a time in November and held a celebration to express our gratitude and formally recognise their contribution to the residents’ quality of life. I presented each volunteer with a lovely bouquet of flowers and an angel, because that represents just who they are in the eyes of the residents and us.