This week for Label’s second article in the Keeping Up With Action series, we caught up with Action’s Equality and Diversity Officer Kathryn Freeman. She tells us the details of one of their projects, Abbeyfields:

What does Abbeyfields specifically involve?

Abbeyfields is a project that works in residential elderly care homes. One area of care is specifically run for the residents with dementia, which is the one I volunteer for. It’s a project which essentially encourages interacting and just chatting with residents and making them feel comfortable with your company!

How are you involved as a Project Leader?

As a project leader, I liaise with the homes and the volunteers, help organise the project and promote the project and the work we do as volunteers.

“The best thing about Abbeyfields is that it is so easy to make such a profound difference in an elderly persons life. Even if its just talking to them you can help alleviate loneliness, be a friend and make them smile!”

What do you enjoy most about the project, and what is more challenging?

The most enjoyable aspect is definitely interacting with the residents. Sometimes the simplest things, like singing along with them to a musical, can make them so happy. The most challenging is trying to encourage residents who are having a bad day to interact with volunteers.

What inspired you to be a part of Abbeyfields?

I absolutely love working in residential homes and have done it since before I came to university. I felt I really wanted to help progress a project which I believe so strongly about!

Want to get involved? You can volunteer with Abbeyfields at any time during the year. All you need is a completed DBS form and an email sent to Kathryn Freeman. If you want to be part of Action, you can also get involved with teams in halls, or check out current projects on the action website and get in touch with the relevant project leader here.

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for next week’s Keeping Up With Action, which will feature a piece on Open Doors – a mencap home for adults with learning difficulties; also check out last week’s Action article here.


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