Don’t Bottle It Up!

A few months ago, the landlord from The King Billy in Teignmouth (the pub which hosted a race night for us last year) came to us because his staff and customers were reporting that they had mental health problems and didn’t know where to turn for support.  Many of them were on waiting lists for support but just needed something else in the meantime.  The bar staff felt helpless when people were telling them their troubles.

So “Don’t Bottle It Up” was born!  Volunteering in Health is offering all the local bar staff a free training session on 22nd January to give them an introduction to mental health awareness, domestic abuse, safeguarding and more, telling them when are where to signpost people to and how to look after themselves when they have been told what can be distressing information.

In return, the pubs will be hosting a “Beat the Winter Blues” party on 8th February as a fun fundraiser for Volunteering in Health and to tie in with Time To Talk Day 2019.

winter blues

Volunteering in Health has also secured a donation which will allow all of their 20 staff to attend a 3 day mental health training course with Action to Prevent Suicide.  And best of all, we are really pleased to be able to recruit a new Support Worker to work with some of our clients who have mental health issues and need more long term support than our Wellbeing Co-ordinators can provide.

job advert

Annual General Meeting 2018

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 13th September from 2pm-4pm at Bitton House in Teignmouth.

Clients, volunteers, partners, referrers and the general public are invited to join us as we look back over the past 12 months, and share our plans for the coming year.

Light refreshments will be provided so RSVP to 01626 771695 or to let us know if you are planning to come.

We are recruiting!

Volunteering in Health is a registered charity that supports lonely and isolated people in Teignmouth, Dawlish, Bishopsteignton, Holcombe, Shaldon, and Chudleigh. Our aim is to help people to live safely, independently and happily at home for as long as possible.

Home Help Service Co-ordinator

Our Home Help Service is a real lifeline to many people, offering practical support with things like cleaning, laundry and shopping. The Home Help Service is designed to keep our clients living at home as independently as possible for as long as possible and is often an important stepping stone to other services.

You main tasks will include:

  • Recruiting and supporting a small team of Home Help staff
  • Collating time sheets and sending out monthly invoices
  • Promoting the service to potential clients and referrers

The role is for 12 hours per week at £9.62 per hour, based in the Coastal Information Centre at Teignmouth Hospital.

Accounts Assistant

We are looking for an Accounts Assistant for our day-to-day book keeping and accounts, including payroll, invoicing, banking and more. This role is essential to help our charity run smoothly so that we can continue to support the people in the community who need us most.

The role is for 8 hours per week at £8.50 per hour, based in the Coastal Information Centre at Teignmouth Hospital.

For more information please visit our website or contact:

Chloe Myers – Manager – Volunteering in Health

Coastal Information Centre, Teignmouth Hospital, Mill Lane, Teignmouth TQ14 9BQ

01626 771695

Application by CV and covering letter.

CLOSING DATE: Wednesday 11th July 3.00pm

INTERVIEW DATE: Thursday 19th July

Race Night

The King Billy pub on Northumberland Place in Teignmouth is hosting a Race Night on Friday 9th March as a fundraiser for Volunteering in Health.  The races will start at 8pm so come on down and bring your friends – the more the merrier!  No need to book or buy tickets, it’s free entry and you can place cash bets on the races of any value.

race night poster.jpg

You may also wish to “buy” your own horse for £5.  If your horse wins its race (a 1:8 chance) you’ll win a bottle of prosecco – not too shabby!!

A huge thank you to The King Billy and to the other businesses that are supporting the event through sponsoring a race:



Every month at the Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish Warren there is a charity bingo night. In September VIH were honoured with hosting. My first official fundraising task was to get the prizes for the raffle draw.

I’m not going to lie: I was nervous. The thought of contacting companies and asking for free stuff was a bit daunting. I’m 27 but with my goggly blue eyes and my hamster cheeks I look about 12. I was worried that people would take one look at me and think ‘Who’s the child coming in, trying to get freebies?’

I kept putting the task off. One Saturday morning I made the decision, I couldn’t avoid it any longer. I wanted to help VIH so, after a quick can of man up, I went onto Google Earth. I started by doing a virtual walk through my local town. I made a list of all the companies I thought might be suitable. I decided that if I called them first, I was giving the businesses an opportunity to politely decline without feeling bad about the small, awkward, childlike lady that was stood in front of them. With my list in hand I was ready but what on earth was I going to say?

‘Hiya. My name’s Jaz…..’


‘Yo, it’s Jazmin…….’

Definitely not!

This went on for some time. After some fine tuning and realising that I wasn’t cool (not even in the slightest) I made myself a little script to read from. I picked up my phone and dialled the first number.

It was for the Pizza Café….. I got through to the owner Mark Thuell. I explained who I was, what we did at VIH and invited him and all his team over to Dawlish Warren for the bingo night. I then explained that we were wondering if they would be able to donate a small prize for the raffle. Mark was more than happy. He said he would love to help as much as possible and invited me to pop in any time and pick up some vouchers for the raffle. As I put the phone down I had one of those involuntary smiles on my face.

What had I been worried about?

He was lovely, understanding and genuinely wanted to help in any way possible. From here on, with each phone call I made, I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone I spoke to was friendly, polite and even if they were unable to donate directly, at least gave me their head office details or came up with ideas of where to try next.

I then simply popped into each of the businesses that were able to donate and collected the prizes ready for the big night. It was that easy and I even got to have a yummy hot chocolate from Wetherspoons whilst I waited (cream and all!).

Time whirred by and before we knew it the night was here. Several VIH volunteers and I were sat waiting for people to turn up. We stationed ourselves ready for our designated tasks and in the blink of an eye the madness began as 224 people descended on us! Bingo cards, raffle tickets and dabbers were being sold at such a speed that our heads could barely keep up with our hands. It was so much fun getting stuck in, joking with the ladies and gentlemen as they made their way through. Then, there was silence whilst we all dabbed away, fingers and toes crossed hoping for a win. The concentration was palpable – and with cash prizes up to £250 who can blame them?!

During the break the yummiest carrot cake and a well needed cup of tea was provided for everyone. Then it was time for the raffle draw. Everyone loved their prizes.

bingo prizes1bingo prizes1 (2)

At 10 o’clock the last game had ended and everyone began to leave. I drove through the winding roads that go from Dawlish Warren to Newton Abbot and crawled into bed. I went to sleep with a smile on my face and my faith in humanity at an all-time high.  VIH raised a fantastic £902 on the night just on raffle tickets!

Now I have got the first fundraising event out of the way I can’t wait to get stuck into the next. VIH are helping out at some flu clinics coming up at the local GP surgeries and I am going to go along and help out there.

If you would like to start volunteering or you know someone that would benefit from our services please contact a member of the team on 01626 771695.

The next Bingo Night is on Wednesday 18th October.  It’s just £10 for six games and the all important tea and cake at half time!  Ring Jim at Swiftprint for more information and to book a table.


Meet the Volunteers: Jazmin

If you were at our Launch Event on 15th July you may have met one of our newest volunteers, Jazmin, handing out much appreciated Pimm’s to the walkers, cyclists and kayakers as they arrived at the event. She’s going to be helping us out with fundraising and other things, alongside her full time job.  At just 26, Jazmin is a real spring chicken in our volunteer team, so when I met her I was really interested to find out what appealed to her about volunteering with us.  When she told me her story, I asked her to write it up so that we could share it with others who might have had similar experiences – she’s certainly not the first volunteer we’ve met who has wished they’d known about us sooner!!

jazmin smith

It all started on a double decker bus. As I sat on one of the familiar striped chairs I noticed her. Dark tired skin and long dark hair with silver highlights. It looked like it hadn’t seen a hair brush in a while but she did a brilliant job with her fingers. Every now and then a delicate plait would emerge.

As we made eye contact I said hello (I have always been a chatter box). We got talking. Sadly, I discovered she had had a hard life. She told me that she now lived alone in a meadow and that her children did not want anything to do with her. She told me she was scared and alone.

I felt for her right down to my soul.

She held my hand in hers. I still remember her papery thin hands, her nails dark from picking flowers in her meadow (or so she told me). She told me I was her angel.

At this point I wanted to do all I could for this woman. I wanted to change her life. In that split-second I envisioned re-homing her, talking with her family, mediating them back together and having the pleasure of watching her flourish back into the lady I had heard all about, through her memories.

Without a doubt in my mind I got my phone out and gave her my mobile number. I told her that I was always there to talk and I would help her in any way I could.

Cut to a week or so later. It’s 3am and I am in bed. My phone rings and I immediately answer. The person on the other end of the line is not making much sense and I don’t recognise their voice. I check the number and realise it is not a family member or friend and come to the conclusion that I am probably being prank called.

This happens nightly for the following week. The same soul crushing incoherent screams echoing down the phone. At the mention of her meadow it clicked. This was the lonely lady from the bus.

I asked her to meet me but she wasn’t able to listen to me long enough to hold a proper conversation. After about a week or so I think she grew frustrated with me. I couldn’t understand her screams and I had no idea what to do to help her. I hated that all I could do was add to her obvious pain and frustration.

Now throw yourself spinning, cartwheeling into the future. 10 years into the future to be exact.

I’m sat with the Chloe, the Manager of Volunteering in Health. We have met to discuss how I could help with their charity. Chloe asked why I wanted to volunteer: was it to learn new skills, to meet like-minded people or had I been affected by something myself?

I told her the truth. It was for all of the above but mainly because I like to help others. For some reason, the lady on the bus came to my mind. I told Chloe about her. As I told her about how awful it felt not to be able to help, Chloe sympathetically nodded her head and said:

“Imagine if you had known about us, you could have given her our details. We would have been able to connect her to our network of staff and volunteers that would have been able to offer her the support she so desperately needed. It wouldn’t all have been on your shoulders.”

My mind was blown. Something so simple could have changed everything for this lady. This was when it hit me. I had to help this charity. Chloe and I discussed some of the many people they have managed to help and I felt a warmth surge through me.

I am now volunteering with the wonderful team at ‘Volunteering in Health’ to help them continue to make such a massive difference to people lives.

If you know someone that could benefit from our services, or if you would like to find out more about volunteering, please contact a member of the team on 01626 771695.


Annual General Meeting

Our next Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 14th September from 2pm-4pm at Bitton House in Teignmouth.

Clients, volunteers, partners, referrers and the general public are all welcome to come and find out what we’ve been up to over the last week, and – more importantly – our plans for the coming year.

Light refreshments will be provided so RSVP to 01626 771695 or to let us know if you are planning to come.