Like many charities, Staywell relies on volunteers to help us deliver our ten local services. Also, like many charities, we’ve seen a decline in volunteer numbers since the pandemic – at a time when older people are more in need of our services than ever before. As we approach Christmas, some of our volunteers share why they choose to give their time. First up is Huw.

Hi there!

My name is Huw and I have volunteered for Staywell's ‘In Touch’ service for over three years.

I support two older people who are otherwise isolated by calling them regularly on the telephone and meeting them in person either at home or in a local coffee shop. It has, and continues to be, a rewarding experience for everyone involved and I'm so glad I took the leap and contacted Staywell about their volunteer opportunities.

After retirement I had some free time and thought that would be best used by giving back to my community. I was previously a journalist, so I love talking to people and socialising. I contacted Staywell and Befriending seemed to tick all the boxes!


The great thing I have found about volunteering for Staywell is that whilst you know you are helping someone, you also get great benefit yourself. My befriending relationships have become lasting friendships in which we can chat about our lives but also common interests and current events. It’s an equal relationship in which we both learn.

I would recommend any new volunteer to think carefully about how they wish to use their time rather than commit to the first opportunity. Volunteering is ideally about long term commitment that benefits the charity and the volunteer. Finding an area that interests you where someone could benefit from your experience and expertise helps the relationship to grow over time.


I feel privileged to be able support people who would otherwise feel more lonely and isolated. It has also given me more empathy to people's situations and made me realise how there are so many others who would benefit from similar support. I would urge anyone who has some time to consider volunteering; it's good fun and great to feel part of something worthwhile.

Inspired by Huw's story? Find out more about volunteering with Staywell. Find out more about our In Touch service.