VOLUNTEERS are brightening the days of elderly residents at the Longlands care home in Blackbird Leys.

Fresh recruitment efforts for the Order of St John Care Trust home on Balfour Road has seen volunteers signing up to help with activities in the home.

The home’s activities coordinator Angela Lindsay said: “The scheme has really flourished in the last few weeks.”

There are currently about ten volunteers who give up several hours every week to talk to and entertain residents and help run activities. Ms Lindsay said: “Volunteers are really valuable to us. It means the residents get to see different faces and interact with more people, and it really makes a difference. They sleep better, their mood improves, it’s amazing.”

The 36-year-old from Didcot added: “It isn’t actually the hours that they do, it’s what they do while they’re here.

“They can be more valuable than staff because they’re giving their time for free.

“I’m quite overwhelmed with it all.”

One of the new volunteers is Donna Shirley, who spends four days a week at the home. She said: “I care for my daughter Paige who is paralysed from the chest down, but now she’s started at Cherwell College I have time during the day.

“I’ve done a lot of volunteering with children, and I wanted to try something different.”

The 39-year-old, who has been volunteering for several weeks, said: “It’s wonderful, I absolutely love it. The residents are lovely. They give me as much as I hope I can give them. They make me look at life in a different way. My life isn’t as bad as I think it is. They make me smile and chuckle every day.”

Ms Shirley, who lives in Greater Leys, said: “My mother has Alzheimer’s, and I like to think that if she ever ends up in a home that there will be volunteers like me to talk to her.”

Joyce Nagle, 92, is one of the residents at Longlands. She said: “The volunteers are wonderful. They’re so helpful and kind.”

The volunteers are also helping with a new music scheme, Project Me, where residents can play music and share stories and memories.

Mrs Nagle has lived in Longlands, which houses 48 older people, for the last year, after suffering from a stroke.

She said that she would like to see more volunteers in the home: “It all helps, the more the merrier.”

  • If you would like to volunteer ring Longlands care hom eon 01865 779224.