Tea, biscuits and Bollywood with Age UK

11 February 2019

At Team London we love volunteering. We also know the importance of quality time away from our desks, so we decided to do something as a group which combines the two!

We visited Stones End Day Centre, run by Age UK for mostly vulnerable elderly adults with varying degrees of dementia. They are brought to the centre each day to be entertained and enjoy each other’s company. We were there to mingle, chat, and join in.

The staff were very warm and welcoming, and we all loved meeting the clients, making them tea and finding out all about them. Some of us took our new friends to join the dance and movement session run by the centre, encouraging them to sing and dance along.

After lunch, staff had organised a Diwali-based fashion show, followed by a seated Bollywood dance routine taught by our very own Lopa Sarkar.

This was such a brilliant day. We loved being part of it and it was a great way to spend time together not at work. If your employer offers volunteering leave, then we recommend you take a look and find a group volunteering activity for your team too!  

Team London team

Thoughts from Team London

I had a fantastic day! Being around older people who have seen and experienced so much puts your own life into perspective. I was inspired by how energetic, lively and joyful people were and that they didn’t take themselves too seriously. I loved the fact that everyone took part in Lopa’s Bollywood dancing regardless of their varying mobility, they really enjoyed it. The staff were amazing and overall it was a great way to use my volunteering leave.

- Satbinder Kooner

The day at Age UK was a brilliant experience and I’m so glad we took the time out of our week to volunteer there. Over the course of the day I met some great people and it was lovely to sit and talk with them about their lives and families. The best part of the day for sure was our very own Lopa running a sit down Indian dance class! 

- Chloe Holness

Volunteering at Age UK was such a rewarding experience and one that I will cherish. It was wonderful to socialise with the elderly and hear their amazing stories. I became really attached and loved participating in the activities. Despite the challenges many of them faced it didn’t stop them from having fun – they put on a Diwali fashion show for us and many started dancing along to the music! It was a great way to spend the afternoon and see the wonders of volunteering. It was also a nice bonding session for the rest of the team, we all had great fun.

- Tanya Ollivierre

I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The staff have a wonderful rapport with the visitors and treated them with kindness and respect. I’ve visited care homes quite a lot to see family and it’s often quite a depressing experience, so it was fantastic to be part of something so positive.

- Sara Ramsay

Being able to get out of the office for just a few hours with some of the team and do something that was clearly very impactful for the older people, was a brilliant thing to be able to do. Simply sitting and chatting or colouring in with them was enough to get some of them chatting away happily. The Diwali fashion show in the afternoon was the clear winner though. Some costumes, music and simple seated dance moves brought real joy to everyone in the room which was so lovely to see – particularly for those that had been quieter earlier on, they were out of their seats and wanted to carry on that dance floor for as long as they could! 

- Amanda Lamb

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