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:


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.



Over the last year, we have been Marks and Spencer’s Charity of the Year.  Volunteers have been to the Newton Abbot Outlet store once a month to do bag packing, often in fancy dress!  As well as being a good fun and raising money, it has been heartwarming to see the relationships the staff have with their customers.  Many elderly clients are regulars and are well known by all the staff – they could predict with surprising accuracy who would pay by contactless, card, or cash and they knew which customers had a Sparks card or would want their bags packed.  They knew whose daughter had been to stay recently and who had just had grandchildren.  They worried if a regular hadn’t been in, and were visibly relieved if they turned up.  This is the first step towards befriending and the kindness of these staff should not be underestimated – without them, there would be a much higher demand for services like ours.

m and s
Chloe Myers collecting a cheque from M&S staff: Truly, Mandy and Sue


Over the course of the year, M&S raised a fantastic £2500 for Volunteering in Health.  THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us, bag packed, or donated their change – it really does add up!

words for voices photo

At the end of February, local performance group, Words for Voices, put on a concert for Volunteering in Health at Bitton House in Teignmouth.  It was a fabulous evening, full of laughter as well as several more thought provoking pieces about growing older.  We raised about £300 on the night – thank you to everyone who came – we hoped you enjoyed it!  And thank you of course to the performers for giving up their time for us.


Trinity School in Teignmouth also did some fundraising for us at Christmas, raising an impressive £600 in one afternoon!  Thank you to everyone involved with this.


At the moment we are busily knitting Easter Chicks and stuffing them with Crème Eggs!  If you can knit or donate some chocolate eggs it would be much appreciate, supply almost never meets demand with these!!


Recently we’ve had a massive push on fundraising. In October we had 3 different events raising a total of £800! One of these events was the Bronx music night; on 23rd October we invited local musicians to perform their work to us, this raised a staggering £350!

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and sitting

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument, on stage and indoor

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and night

We then had a fancy dress bag pack, considering how scary we looked people still donated to the cause and this raised £300! We were then part of the rotary raffle which raised an extra £150.  We left October and flew straight into November with another bag packing which raised another £300. Then through November and December we sold our Christmas cards and chocolates. This added an extra £1000 to the collection. One care home then had a coffee morning to raise funds for us; they raised £65 for us.  Shaldon School and Singalong Shaldon raised another £600 for us through their Christmas Carol concerts and a “Name the Teddy” competition at the school.Image may contain: food

We finished off the year with one last bag pack which raised an amazing £625 for us! All these fundraisers allow us to support people in our community with getting to and from their hospital appointments and social events. We also help combat isolation with befrienders. In total we left 2016 with over £2,000 being raised in just the last 3 months.

Thank you to everyone who has helped with fundraising – whether you helped with bag packing or popped a penny or a pound in a pot – it all helps.

If you would be interested in setting up a fundraiser please pop in to the office or email the Manager, Chloe, on chloe.myers@nhs.net


Gifts in Memoriam

One way of supporting our work is by remembering Volunteering in Health when making your will or by amending your existing will to include a gift for Volunteering in Health.

We do not receive any statutory funding and rely solely on grants, donations and community fundraising. An important way that we can increase our sources of income is in the form of gifts made by supporters in their wills (called a legacy).

Why do I need a will?

When thinking about your will, your first priority will be to make sure that the people you love and care for are provided for in the future. This can only be done with certainty by making a valid will.

If you don’t have a valid will, then the law will decide who should receive your assets (called your estate) on your death and this may mean that your assets are divided in a very different way from what you intended; so it is best to be certain and to make a will.

Although it is possible to make a will without one, it is a good idea to get some advice and seek the help from a qualified solicitor.

Tozers Solicitors in Teignmouth have kindly agreed to waive their fees for writing a will, in return for a donation to Volunteering in Health.

A gift in your will for Volunteering in Health

After making provision for your loved ones in your will, we would like you to consider supporting our work in the future by making a gift in your will to Volunteering in Health. This can be done by leaving a set amount in your will. This gift is called a legacy or you may decide to leave a share of your estate to Volunteering in Health.

It is usually a simple matter to leave a gift to Volunteering in Health in your will and need not be expensive. Just ask your solicitor to include a paragraph (clause) in your will or, if you have already made a will, ask the solicitor to add an amendment to it called a codicil.

Gifts in a will to Charities such as Volunteering in Health can also help to reduce any Inheritance Tax liability which may arise on your death and a solicitor will be able to give you advice on this.

It is often mistakenly thought that a gift has to be for a large sum of money. This is not the case and Volunteering in Health would be grateful to receive any donations, large or small, to help us continue our work and to reach out and support the people in our community who need a helping hand.

What’s On?

We’ve got loads going on for Christmas this year.  Today our Trips Co-ordinator Sheila is taking a group of clients to the beautiful Donkey Sanctuary for their candlelit carol concert, which is always a lovely festive evening and guaranteed to get even the scroogiest of us into the Christmas spirit.  For the less tuneful, this Sunday we’ll be on the Triangle singing bad Christmas carols from 11-2 – we’re asking you to pay us to stop singing!

Eabearrlier this week, Singalong Shaldon sang carols on the green in Shaldon, collecting nearly £300 for Volunteering in Health.

Yesterday Shaldon School held their Christmas Celebration and collected over £300 too, which included a “Name the Teddy” activity (the name and winner are yet to be revealed!).  This is to support the penfriendship project we have been doing with year six, and we will be taking some clients over to the school next Thursday for a Christmas party.  Next Monday Trinity School are doing a fundraising day for us too.

Our new Music 4 Memories group are meeting for the third time on Thursday 15th December at The Alice Cross Centre.  On Tuesday 20th December, our Memory Support Worker, Gill, will be hosting the Christmas Memory Café in Dawlish.

On Wednesday 21st, our Carer Support Worker Jackie is taking a group of carers for a Christmas feast at the ever popular Trade Winds.  In the evening we’re off to the Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish Warren for their Charity Bingo evening – wish us luck!

We are bag packing at Marks & Spencer in Newton Abbot on Friday 16th, Saturday 17th, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th December.  We hope to raise at least £500 from this, so if you fancy popping a Santa hat on and helping out for an hour it would be much appreciated.  Please ring Miia on 01626 773924 if you can help.

The Jolly Good Fish Café have kindly invited our clients to join them for a shopping trip to Playmouth on the 14th and for a Fish and Chip supper on the 19th.  And finally, on Tuesday 24th January 2017 (!!) we will be heading to a special Charity performance of Dick Whittington at Pavilions Teignmouth.

We hope to see you at one of more of these events!