I read your article ‘Not All Older People Are Grandparents‘ with great interest. The children’s charity that I work for, in Warwickshire – ‘The Friendship Project for Children’ – matches children in need with volunteers, on a 1-2-1 basis and we have no upper age limit (we only ask that, after the standard safety checks, our volunteers are relatively fit and healthy and able to drive).
Many children today have no grandparents – or none living nearby – and appreciate the opportunity to build a friendship with an older person, who can teach them to cook, or knit, take them to the park, or for a walk with the dog or to the cinema, for example.
I’d urge any of your readers, who feel that they miss having a child in their life – for whatever reason – to look at local volunteering opportunities. There are thousands of children’s charities and your local volunteer bureau can point you in the right direction.
Believe me, the charities you might approach, will not (as the lady in the article thought), consider you ‘weird’ for not having children or grandchildren of your own. As long as you’re volunteering for the right reasons, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and who knows – it could be a life-changing experience, both for you and for the child you befriend.
For more information on the Friendship Project, please see our website: www.friendshipproject.co.uk.