Retirement village shows gratitude to volunteers

Photo of volunteer award winners at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village

Staff and residents at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village (SGRV) have been ‘ringing the praises’ of the people who regularly volunteer there during a week of special celebrations.

Volunteers Week, which ran from 3rd – 7th June, gave staff the opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who works tirelessly to keep leisure activities at the village running smoothly.

The week kicked off with an awards ceremony. This involved afternoon tea for those who volunteer on a regular basis and the presentation of three awards to people who were deemed to have ‘gone the extra mile’ when it came to their volunteering. Laura Jones, volunteer organiser at SGRV said:

“All of our volunteers play a fundamental part in each area of the village and as a means of showing our appreciation and gratitude I have introduced this recognition programme to share and celebrate the efforts of those volunteers who reflect the core values of excellence, teamwork and integrity through their volunteering activities.”

The first award, for Excellence, went to Vince who is a local artist and visits the village once a week to teach an oil painting class. The second was the Teamwork award and this went to Vickie and Barbara who run the Acorns ‘n’ Oaks inter-generational playgroup every week and, finally, the Integrity award went to Laura-Jane, a student volunteer who continues to help at the village even though she has completed her required volunteering hours.

Laura-Jane said

“I was not expecting to even have been nominated for a volunteer award at the village, let alone win the award for Integrity in Volunteering. I thoroughly enjoy my role at the Village and have learnt so much from the residents themselves.”

The theme for this year’s Volunteers Week was ‘ringing the praises’ of all of the committed volunteers who work at the village. Throughout the rest of Volunteers Week, Laura, as well as other members of staff, went along to a variety of activities that were taking place and literally rang a bell as a way of expressing their gratitude to the volunteers.

Laura, who organised the week of celebrations, said:

“It was an honour to celebrate the success of all of our dedicated volunteers, and to shout loud and ‘ring their praises’ across the week. We had lots of fun as a community, surprising our volunteers in true town crier fashion, ringing and singing their praises.”

On Thursday 6th June, as part of Volunteers Week, the SGRV held a recruitment fair, giving more people the opportunity to sign up as volunteers. The fair was very successful, with many more volunteers being recruited. However, they are still in need of volunteers for the gym and the library. No previous experience is required as all training will be provided. If this is something you think you may be interested in, please contact Laura by email at or phone 0117 440 3000.

Photo – Some of the award winners (l-r): Bethany (work experience placement), Vickie & Barbara (teamwork award winners), Vince (excellence award winner) and Laura Jones (volunteer organiser).

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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