The pandemic saw a huge increase in grassroots volunteering. People felt that, if they were able to, it was the right thing to do. But during Covid many older folk stopped volunteering for health reasons and since then charities have generally struggled to recruit new volunteers. Research shows volunteering has seen a steady decline over the past decade. It seems that in our busy and often overwhelming modern lives we find it too difficult to make time to give to others, even though we know in our hearts that there are more and more people in dire need of help.

However, a growing body of evidence indicates that engaging in meaningful service is not only crucial to the resilience of our communities, it can also help us feel better emotionally and physically.


The research on the physical and mental health benefits of volunteering is clear and compelling. Volunteers live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Studies have shown that in older adults, volunteering can reduce the risk of developing dementia and hypertension. Sharing our gifts and resources with others can decrease stress levels, depression, and anxiety, and increase overall life satisfaction.

We face an evident mental health crisis and a well-publicised epidemic of loneliness, driven by a lack of meaningful personal interactions. The good news is, sharing our gifts and resources with others creates deeper connections and gives our lives meaning. As Staywell befriending volunteer Huw told us, it’s a rewarding experience for everyone involved. If you’ve ever experienced a warm, satisfied feeling after helping another person — a proven physiological response called a ‘helper’s high’ — you’ll know it’s worth making the effort.


We're actively recruiting volunteers and, with ten services operating in and around Kingston, we have a host of opportunities! Find out more:

Huw's story

Rosa's story

Bob's story

Ola's story

Other ways to give

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of the public to help us continue to provide help and support vulnerable older people in Kingston. Can you help by making a donation? Click on this link to find out more.