The manager of a retirement housing development in St Andrews is praising the important work of university students in a bid to encourage others to see the value of volunteering.

Lesley McIntosh, Manager at Bield’s Argyle Court, said their success in recruiting volunteers from St Andrews University to help with daily coffee mornings had enabled tenants at the development to get more involved in socialising with one another.

Lesley said: “It has been great having the students help out with our coffee mornings. The tenants have all clearly enjoyed meeting the students and learning about their different cultures and their experiences living in St Andrews.

“The students have also enjoyed hearing the stories of the tenants and I think they have definitely learnt a thing or two about older people.

“The introduction of volunteers has been a very positive move for us – young, enthusiastic, happy students are a good tonic for the soul.”

Thirty-five Bield developments across Scotland have used Volunteers’ Week to thank the hardworking volunteers that selflessly put others first to help their residents and tenants.

Ruth Bowen, Volunteer Development Manager at Bield said: “The work our volunteers do at Bield is invaluable to our tenants and the community.

“We are so appreciative to everyone who gets involved with us and helps improve the lives of everyone across the country. The tenants, their families and our staff rely on those individuals who give up their time to lend a hand to others and we are so grateful for them.

“It is great to show them how much we value their hard work by taking part in Volunteers Week.”

Bield’s ‘Free to Be’ ethos seeks to enable people at its developments to make their own choices and live their own lives wherever possible.

Volunteers are instrumental to this, from lending a listening ear to tenants to getting involved with social activities organising and helping run anything from bingo nights, to day trips, craft clubs and musical events.

Housing and care provided by Bield is designed with older people in mind and offer a range of amenities to suit varying needs.

To find out more about how to you can volunteer with Bield, go to www.bield.co.uk/work-us/volunteering.