Health and wellbeing charity shares volunteers’ stories to recruit more helpers

Sharon Goble
Authored by Sharon Goble
Posted Friday, May 31, 2024 - 7:06pm

Throughout Volunteers’ Week (3 - 9 June), Westbank Community Health and Care is celebrating the army of volunteers who are the beating heart of the Devon-wide charity and sharing volunteers’ stories to inspire more people to help make a difference. 

Volunteers’ Week - now in its 40th year - is a week when charities across the South West celebrate those who give up their time to help others and say thank you to them for the contribution they make. The week also raises awareness about the many benefits of becoming a volunteer and the diverse volunteering roles available.

Pip Morrison, Westbank’s Volunteer Engagement Manager, says: “Volunteers’ Week is such an important time for our charity to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible efforts of our army of dedicated volunteers. They contribute a vast array of skills and experience, generously giving their time to support the individuals, families and communities we work with. We are so grateful for their time and commitment.”

Westbank volunteers Tony Liddon, Hollie Whittington and Sue Worthington-Dickason have shared their stories to encourage other people to consider volunteering in their spare time. 

Tony, who volunteers at Westbank’s Men’s Brunch Club and as a reserve driver, says “I heard someone say years back, ‘If you are not doing good, what on earth are you doing?’ Anyone that’s got time on their hands and is in a position to help out others, it’s great if you can. There are so many people in this country who would just not survive in life, and not get the help they need, if there were not volunteers working for charities. Society would be a much, much worse place.”

Hollie chose to become a Telephone Support volunteer for the Westbank service Devon Carers after providing end-of-life care to both her grandfathers. She says, “I had an experience that meant I wanted to be there for someone else. I think having someone on the end of a phone who isn’t within your situation is almost more valuable because when you’re talking to family or friends there’s a tendency for some people to not be honest about how they’re feeling. If you are talking to someone who is impartial and has the time to be there for you, I think that’s way more powerful.”

Sue volunteers in the charity’s Community Cookery School. She became a volunteer following the death of her husband whom she spent decades caring for. Sue says, “When my husband died, I’d been his carer for the best part of 40 years. In the last 12 months of his life, he was increasingly frail, so I was doing everything for him. Once that finishes, you feel a bit lost. To volunteer is to give back and giving back is important. It also keeps you sane after you’ve lost a partner.’

Westbank is currently looking to recruit more volunteers for a whole range of different roles. The charity provides a full induction and training programme and ongoing support. 

Find out more at

Volunteer Week 2024 - Tony's story

Volunteers Week 2024 - Hollie's story

Volunteers Week 2024 - Sue's story

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