the future

As an 18 year old, thoughts of what I’m going to do when I’m 80 are few and far between. However, working for ViH and Alice Cross has made me think about what’s going to be around to help. Many people have said that they hope that charities like Volunteering in Health, The Alice Cross and Assist Teignbridge will still be around to help when they get older, and I hope so too. When I first started at The Alice I was a bit apprehensive as to what to expect, but everyone welcomed me with open arms.  As I’ve lived in Teignmouth all my life I’ve always known about the Alice but never really understood what they did there. I was under the impression it was for “old” people. After working there for 3 months I can safely say that this is not true, everyone there is just so lively and full of energy.

While you watch the ballroom dancers float across the room or the eastern dancers wave their scarves you forget about age.

As the population ages, the demand for this sort of charity grows. But we have no idea how long we will be around for. This is why we need people to help volunteer while they can, to help other, and so that if you become unable to volunteer for any reason there will be someone to help you from the start. You never know when you or a loved one will need our services. When you volunteer you help shape the charity and put things in place that will help you and others as and when you might need them.  By giving the gift of a legacy you can give financial stability for us to be able to provide care for many years to come.

Quite often, in this era,  technology is our answer for everything, can’t go out shopping? Go  online. Want to meet someone new? Go online.  As the days go by, more and more tech is being made that can be incorporated in to our day to day activities, but sometimes facetiming my boyfriend just isn’t the same as seeing him. Nothing can beat a good old fashioned hug.

So my question to you is: will technology ever really solve the problem of loneliness? Will seeing a picture of your friends and family be enough?



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


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.

Meet the Team: Gill

Gill retired from her role as a Community Nurse in 2014, but found that she missed supporting people in the community.  Not long after retiring, she joined VIH as a volunteer, but within weeks we had snapped her up to be our Memory Loss Support Worker.




I have worked for VIH since March 2015 as Memory Support Worker. In my role I provide support, information and signposting to clients living with a memory problem, and their carers. I help them remain well and involved in the community for as long as possible, which then reduces the feeling of loneliness and isolation that a memory problem can bring.

In 2016 I became the co-ordinator for the Teignmouth and Dawlish Memory cafes. These are run monthly and are social, relaxed sessions where clients and their carers can get together for a cup of tea or coffee and join in any activity that we have planned.

Recently I helped to launch ‘Music 4 Memories’, which involves group singing, playing of instruments and quizzes.

It’s good to see people out, joining in and having fun.

Our Christmas Party

Merry Christmas! We hope you enjoyed the festive break and are still making the most of catching up with family and friends, playing with your new toys, and eating turkey sandwiches!

On Friday 16th December we held a Christmas party for the Trustees, staff, and office volunteers to get to know each other a bit better.  The party was at Bitton House in Teignmouth and the main event was a Christmas Quiz, kindly hosted by volunteer Marrianne Gibson and her husband Alan.


What a way to end the year, surrounded by lots of smiling faces, wacky jumpers and chocolate. As a newbie to the team it was quite nerve racking to meet everyone all at once; I’d met a few people but that night I really was thrown in at the deep end. As the night went on, I got to know everyone and everyone got to know my lack of Christmas knowledge. I was terrible at the quiz, I didn’t even know the name of the king the three wise men met (Herod). Just a quick shout out to Marrianne for the amazing quiz, I have definitely learnt a lot; I never knew Jingle bells could be the answer to so many different questions!


Unfortunately my team didn’t win the quiz, but the winning team got a nice Santa hat each and a bottle of prosecco. All the prices had been generously donated by many different people.  The losers got a wooden spoon, as is the tradition.  There were also prizes for the most and least Christmassy outfits – our Trustee Manuela really pushed the boat out with her Snowman costume and was the clear winner!!  Then the all important food turned up, courtesy of the Alice Cross Centre. We all pulled our crackers and told the cheesy jokes about snowmen, Dracula, Santa and his Hos as we tucked into an array of sandwiches, mince pies and crisps (one bag was brie and cranberry flavoured – the future is here!).


During the night we heard a lovely poem from Julie about her trip to the donkey sanctuary, we heard lovely singing from our volunteer Katie and some terrible singing from some of the new staff.  This had been part of our induction challenge to raise £100.  A group of Bad Carol Singers had braved the public asking for donations to make them stop!  During the night, one of our advent jars was opened by our volunteer Transport Administrator Erin.  Manuela, one of our newest trustees, made us a lovely advent calendar. Inside each jar was a little sweet and a fact about how different countries and cultures celebrate Christmas, followed up with a dare!


It was the first real work Christmas party I’ve been to so I didn’t really know what to expect, but I had a great time and think everyone else did too. As we’re all part time some of us don’t get to see each other very often, so it was nice to have a chance to get to know everyone better.

I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the team in 2017.

Happy New Year!

Meet the Team: Jackie

jackie-milan-1Our Carer Support Worker, Jackie, is one of our longest standing staff members, having been with VIH since 2013.  Jackie has lots of experience working with all kinds of carers, and is especially skilled when it comes to shifting raffle tickets!!  She is a keen crafter and festival goer.  This afternoon she is taking a group of carers out for a Christmas lunch at Trade Winds in Teignmouth, somewhere that is well known for giving everyone a lovely warm welcome!

My specific role at ViH is to support Carers with their caring by visiting them in their homes on a one-to-one basis to offer relevant information.  I run a Carers meeting on the last Wednesday of the month at Bitton House from 2pm to 4pm, cared for and former Carers are also welcome.  We have a variety of speakers and activities, tea and home-made cakes are served half way through the meeting.

Following on from a very successful lunch during Carers Week earlier in the year, I now organise a monthly lunch at Trade Winds.  This has proved to be very popular with Carers, the person they care for and also former Carers. Transport is provided if necessary by ViH’s Team of voluntary drivers.


For any Carers who are interested in trying different types of crafts, a weekly group is held at Teignmouth Arts Action Group (TAAG). They have produced a variety of work including a project for the TRAIL during the summer (pictured).  They also made some of the poppies which were displayed on the anchor outside Teignmouth Museum.  

Christmas Opening Hours

Volunteering in Health would like to wish all of our clients, carers, volunteers, and colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Over the festive period we will be closing for the bank holidays but open as normal the rest of the time, as follows:

Friday 23rd December 10am-3pm

Monday 26th December CLOSED

Tuesday 27th December CLOSED

Wednesday 28th December 10am-3pm

Thursday 29th December 10am-3pm

Friday 30th December 10am-3pm

Monday 2nd January CLOSED

Tuesday 3rd January 10am-3pm