Isle of Wight High Sheriff Nick Hayward (back row, middle) becoming a Good Neighbour in the Age Concern scheme. Picture by Robin Crossley.
AGE UK'S Good Neighbour scheme has a new high-profile volunteer as Isle of Wight High Sheriff Nick Hayward becomes the latest recruit.
Mr Hayward attended an induction meeting in Newport on Tuesday, to join the initiative which provides 'comfort care' to older people who may not have friends or family to turn to.
Mr Hayward said: "I believe I have a responsibility to put something back into the community and I have a great belief that we need to have respect for the elderly."
Age UK's Good Neighbour project currently has 345 volunteers, across 22 schemes, who support 450 older people across the Isle of Wight.
Mark O'Sullivan, manager and project development officer for Age UK, said: "The volunteers' help ranges from changing a light bulb for someone, to taking them shopping, to joining them for a cup of tea.
"Last year we completed 7590 hours of support, and this year we're on track to do over 10,000."
He adds: "It's great to have Nick here, he is obviously very well-known and he can go around and talk about the Good Neighbour scheme for us."
Mr Hayward said: "As High Sheriff I can promote the charity and I will be delighted to go out, drive around, and help people directly."
Age UK are particularly looking for professional people such as legal, medical and financial professionals to help them provide people in need with specialist advice and services.
Mr Hayward adds: "There are lots of people who want to help but don't know how to.
"I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering for the Good Neighbour scheme to go for it and come along and talk to Age UK."
To get involved or find out more visit Age UK, 14 Pyle Street, Newport, or call on 528282.