'˜Fiesty' volunteer retires at 91

A volunteer who has spent the past six years helping those in need is finally putting her feet up at the age of 91.

Monday, 11th April 2016, 8:00 am
Volunteer Monica Diplock, 91, of Tring retires after helping Age UK Dacorum for six year

Monica Diplock, of Mill Gardens, Tring, first became a befriender for Age UK Dacorum in 2010, visiting older people who live alone, feel isolated or find it hard to get out of the house.

Several of Monica’s clients that she began visiting on a weekly basis were often younger than her.

To thank her for her time and dedication, the Age UK Dacorum team delivered a bunch of flowers to her door last week.

Monica, who retired from her job as an occupational therapist in 1984, said: “I was very surprised – I had no idea I was going to qualify for that. I don’t think I deserve it!”

Speaking about her time volunteering with the charity, she said: “It has been very interesting and I’ve heard lots of stories from very interesting people – they were all different.

“Sometimes we just had a cup of tea and a chat, and other times we went shopping.

“It is a great service they [Age UK Dacorum] provide and I know a lot of people who appreciate it.”

Monica was born in London but moved to Wigginton in 1965, while working at Leavesden Hospital, before moving to Mill Gardens 10 years ago.

And she is no stranger to helping out – the former 
medical professional volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureau for 27 years, but when she gave that up she said she ‘needed something else to do’, which is where befriending came in.

Melanie Clarke, independent living scheme manager for Age UK Dacorum, said: “Monica is still a fiercely independent lady with a positive attitude, and we want to thank her for all her help over the past six years.”

Age UK Dacorum’s befriender service is free, and provides friendship and support for older people who are lonely, bereaved, isolated or housebound to encourage social interaction and companionship.

Referrals can be made from individuals, family friends, neighbours and professionals.

Volunteers are interviewed, screened and undergo a police check before they visit anyone.

For more information, or to express an interest in volunteering, call Melanie on 01442 221000.