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Charity targets ‘lonely’ men to improve lives

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

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LONELY men in Burton and South Derbyshire are being urged to get out and volunteer in a bid to improve their mental and physical health.

Community and older person’s charity WRVS, formerly known as Women’s Voluntary Service, is launching a campaign to ‘save men from boredom’.

More male volunteers are particularly needed to tackle the loneliness experienced by many older men, which can have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.

This follows recent research by WRVS which found that 190,000 men over the age of 75 suffer from feelings of loneliness.

David McCullough, WRVS chief executive, said: “WRVS has had male volunteers since at least 1949 but with an ageing population we now need more men to join the charity to provide practical help and companionship to the older people we support.

“It is great to see the Olympic legacy has inspired so many men to want to volunteer.

“We urge all of the men planning to volunteer this year to add WRVS to their wish list of charities to approach.”

The charity is now urging the men planning to volunteer this year to consider WRVS and, to persuade them to sign up, is hosting a men only question and answer session on Twitter at noon to 2pm on Monday, February 18.

Men interested are invited to pose questions to a male volunteer using a dedicated hashtag #manhunt.

Launched in 1938 as the Women’s Voluntary Services, the charity’s founder, Lady Reading, attracted more than one million women volunteers to lend their support on the home front during the war.

Now, WRVS supports older people and the charity wants more men to volunteer.

Less than a fifth of its 40,000 cohort are men (6,342) despite the research showing an appetite to volunteer – 29 per cent are either currently volunteering or plan to start this year.

The charity needs men and women to fill a variety of roles supporting older people including cook, handyman, driver, and companion for its good neighbours service.

More information is available by visiting ww.wrvs.org.uk or calling 08456 014670.

The WRVS is funded by donations and receives no Government funding.

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