I've been managing the scheme now since 2007 and have loved meeting so many interesting older people who find themselves feeling lonely and a wide mix of brilliant volunteers willing to give their time to see lives changed. I began my career as a nurse - which I really enjoyed but after a small career break, when I lived abroad, decided on a change of course into the charity world. I've not looked back and find my job hugely rewarding!
Deputy Manager and Assessor
I'm the Link assessor, which means I visit our link friends when they are first referred to us and then introduce them to their volunteer. I am also the volunteer trainer, which involves supporting volunteers to gain the necessary skills to feel confident and competent in their volunteering role. I first heard about the Link Visiting Scheme through working for other charities supporting older people. I then became a Link volunteer myself, before taking the leap to being an employee in 2012.
Activities & Events Co-ordinator
I began working for the charity in October 2014 after a few years of volunteering as a befriender. My role is to organise and plan all our activities and events from pub lunches to summer afternoons on the bowling green to Christmas parties and quiz evenings! It's certainly a varied role and I love seeing people enjoying themselves with one another.
I joined The Link in October 2018 after working for 13 years with people with dementia. My role is to recruit and support our many volunteers who do such a wonderful job of brightening up the lives of older people. I also co-deliver Cognitive Stimulation Therapy to groups of people with mild/moderate dementia. I love my varied role and meeting so many different people.
I joined the Link in 2019 having come most recently from a financial services background. Previously to that I worked for 12 years as a parish administrator for a local church. This was a role I loved as I was involved with various volunteer groups and charities supporting local projects and I am very happy to return to a community based charity such as the Link.
I co-ordinate the Community Kitchen Project, an initiative to gather people of all ages for lunch once a month on a Sunday. It is always an enjoyable occasion with plenty of laughter, tasty food and usually an activity or entertainment. Being part of the Link has really helped me to settle into Wokingham. I thoroughly enjoy working alongside the team as well as many volunteers who make a huge difference to local older people.
Board of Trustees
Simon Elliott - Chair
Doug Cleary - Treasurer
Gayle Manicom - Trustee
John Mallaghan - Trustee
Bob Wyatt - Trustee