“Many don’t have any family members or even emergency contacts, It’s a very hard situation. You really make a difference in their lives and bring a smile to their face.” -Roy
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Volunteer Profiles - Meet Roy and Beverly
The dynamic duo, wizards of connection, and conquerors of isolation- Roy, 82, and Beverley are dedicated volunteers working to promote connection and reduce isolation for seniors in residential care across Santa Cruz County.
A long-time volunteer with Family Service agency, Roy serves as a Peer Counselor, providing active listening, connection and resource referral to seniors in need. He notes that isolation is not just a problem for seniors in residential care and is currently networking in the hopes of re-starting a program to address loneliness for seniors who remain in their homes. Over the years, such programs have been discontinued in Santa Cruz due to fund shortages.
His wife Beverley is similarly committed to the cause, volunteering three times a week with I-You Venture, a program that provides friendly visiting to folks in residential care. She describes the role as very different than the Peer Counselor position, “There’s no special training or report writing required to be a friendly visitor,” just a sincere commitment to be a friend to seniors in need.
Roy and Beverly emphasize the significant need for this type of support across the county. Beverley, in particular, has found that she is often the only connection for seniors in residential care. “Many don’t have any family members or even emergency contacts, It’s a very hard situation.” The great thing about this type of volunteering is that it is easy to get involved and the volunteer work is exceptionally rewarding. “You really make a difference in their lives and bring a smile to their face.”
Roy was chosen as a Be the Difference Award Winner in 2013. Be sure to check out his video.
GIVE YOUR TIME: Are you inspired by their actions? Get involved by supporting elders and creating a life-changing connection in our community:
• Are you 55 or older? Check out a volunteer position as a Senior Peer Counselor
• Are you 16 or older? Become a friendly visitor
FIND YOUR CAUSE: Still trying to discover your passion? The Volunteer Center can help. Connect with a Match-Maker