LinkAges takes the loneliness out of old age by connecting you to opportunities to befriend local older people.
Local care homes, local organisations and Highfield Campus
What is LinkAges?
LinkAges is a national Student Hubs programme which aims to tackle social isolation in the local community by sending student volunteers into care homes and events for the elderly to socialise, chat with them and ultimately make a difference to their week. LinkAges also has the potential to run activity-based sessions for older people as well, based on student interest.
Our partners for this programme are Poplars Care Home, Contact the Elderly (our tea and cake events on campus), Southampton Day Services, Southampton General Hospital and Age UK. Volunteering with LinkAges can be fairly flexible, though we recommend slots so you are able to volunteer with others and our Coordinator will organise the dates of our on-campus tea and cake LinkAges events.
We expect at least one term of volunteering, which typically involves 1-2 hours a week during a term, with an induction before your placement starts. Many volunteers carry on volunteering into semester two. Please be aware that our placement opportunity at Southampton General Hospital has a longer term commitment of at least 3 months volunteering throughout the academic year.
Skills and employability
Communication, working with people with complex needs, Dementia Friends training, safeguarding for vulnerable adults, teamwork (if running tea and cake events), empathy, supporting external staff (eg care workers) are all skills you will gain by taking part in Empower. This volunteering opportunity is excellent for anyone who wants experience working with older or elderly people, in customer service or wants to improve their social and language skills.
Training and support
All of our programmes are supported by students and staff. As part of LinkAges, you will have the LinkAges Coordinator (Noviann McLean) and the staff team (Southampton Hub Manager and the Youth Projects Officer) to speak to.
The Coordinator and staff team will be leading on your selection workshop, initial training and additional training provision (eg Dementia Friends training) throughout your placement, as well as any issues with your placement. The staff team will be in touch with you during your placement to get mid-year and end of year feedback, which is required from all volunteers.
LinkAges is committed to being an inclusive programme, and encourages all students to get involved. We can make reasonable adjustments to application processes, selection workshops, training sessions, your volunteering placement, and other activities on a case-by-case basis. We also provide ongoing support for the students we work with, so if you have particular accessibility needs, including if you want to disclose a disability or special educational needs, please do get in touch with Fiona at email@example.com and let us know how we can make the activity more accessible.
Volunteering with LinkAges won't cost you
We reimburse all Southampton Hub volunteers' travel expenses, including bus and car travel, throughout the project.
Why not volunteer with a friend?
Volunteering for Southampton Hub is social and you'll have the chance to meet many like-minded people, but why not ask a friend to sign up with you too?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to answer any questions and direct you to the LinkAges committee for any further help and support.
You can also check out other various projects over on our What's On page.