Make someone's day with our flexible 'micro' volunteering

One of Move the Masses volunteers.

Our Move Mates scheme, where people who find it difficult to get out by themselves are paired up with a volunteer walking buddy, is getting more and more requests from all over the city.

Unlike many volunteering opportunities, being a Move Mate is really flexible and can take very little time indeed, in fact it is more like micro-volunteering.

This is not a befriending service, where you need to visit someone at a set time each week for at least an hour. This is a walking buddy scheme where you meet the beneficiary at their house and walk with them, either for exercise and a breath of fresh air, or to a specific place, for example a chemist to pick up a prescription or to an event. 

Pete, one of our Move Mates told us about his experiences with the two people he walks with.

I signed up to volunteer as a walking buddy not quite knowing what I was getting into. I was soon paired up with an older lady local to where I live.

Mrs G is smart, she uses Mensa puzzles on a daily basis to pass the day! But unfortunately, her mobility was not as good. However, with the use of a frame, we are able to get outside the house and walk to the end of the street. Something she would never do on her own.

I am often busy with my full time job so we don’t meet on a regular slot. Instead, I arrange a weekly meeting to suit both of us and usually give her a 30 minute warning when I leave work on my bike.

Since then I am also meeting another lady on a more irregular basis. It is obvious that they both get a huge amount from my visits. More than this, I challenge any volunteer not to get a huge satisfaction from the visits. Even when life is busy I genuinely look forward to my walks.

Move Mates and the buddy scheme is a fantastic idea. As you would expect care is taken to provide DBS checks for volunteers and pair people up depending on their requirements. I would encourage anyone to look more into volunteering.

Being a move mate is a great opportunity to volunteer, get a little exercise and make a huge difference to one of your less able neighbours. It's definitely win:win for everyone.

Want to get involved? Apply to volunteer here.