Summer fun activity tackles elderly isolation

 In Community, News

On June 2nd 2017, volunteers from Citi’s communications team gave their time to engage with elderly service-users at Donnybrook Court care home, supported by Age UK East London, by providing a summer arts & crafts and BBQ event.

The activity was part of Citi’s Global Community Day, where each year, tens of thousands of Citi volunteers and their friends and families join together to use their time, skills and expertise to make a difference in their communities across the globe. This aligns nicely with national Volunteer’s Week here in the UK.

Age UK East London supports elderly people to retain direction and choice over their own lives, maintain and improve health, prevent social isolation, live in physical environments suited to their changing needs, and have as many opportunities as possible for involvement in fulfilling community leisure activities.

Citi’s volunteers wasted little time; before the early morning briefing had started, volunteers rolled their sleeves up, were cleaning and setting up the BBQ and getting all resources prepped for the day ahead. Volunteers then supported elderly service users to create arts & crafts projects, including the making of bunting that was used to decorate the outdoors courtyard where the BBQ took place. Volunteers then showed off their cooking skills, taking in turns to lead with the BBQ and providing service-users with a fun, summer lunch.

The real ‘gold’ on the day came from the time and dedication Citi’s volunteers provided to service-users through striking up conversations, befriending activities and providing them the opportunity to have everyday conversation with new people, increasing their access to social and befriending activities.

Mirona Bakolli, Citi Team Leader on the day said:

“The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, Kate from Age UK was the glue and her presence throughout was essential to this being a success – events potentially as sensitive as this one need that person in between who can make everything feel natural and comfortable. The residents told me they had a really nice time and we got to know them, laugh and share stories too. It was a unique event and a fulfilling one. Thanks again to ELBA for all of the support on making this happen!”

Matthew Huang, another Citi volunteer said:

“I really enjoyed the event. Spending time with the senior citizens and the team from Age UK East London and ELBA was something that was I’ll remember for a long time!”

Kate Angus who works for Age UK said:

“The day we spent with Citi was amazing; it allowed our services-users a chances to mix with each other and also meet other people within the community, the guys from Citi were amazing, really engaging with our service-users through the arts & craft session and BBQ lunch, and everyone enjoyed spending time together. Days like this are so important to all of us at Age UK East London, sharing such a brilliant experience.”

Elsewhere, throughout Citi’s Global Community Day #CitiVolutneers have been supporting charities and grassroots organisations across east London. From a food and clothes bank, adventure playground and estate gardens to east London parks, a refugee organisation and a children’s respite home. #CitiVolunteers have been incredibly busy this last month. Over 200 employees have given their time to paint and plant, cook and build, shop and repair. That’s a combined total of over 1000  hours spent supporting east London community through team challenges alone.

“It’s been an honour to be the east London broker for Citi’s global efforts during this Global Community Day” – Abi Micallef, lead ELBA coordinator for Citi GCD.

If you feel inspired by the work of Citi’s volunteers and would like to do something similar with your colleagues please get in touch with Abi Micallef on

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