An urgent appeal for volunteer van drivers has been put out by Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin.

The local charity offers a free furniture collection service in Oswestry , but there aren’t enough volunteer drivers to go round.

Volunteering for Age UK is rewarding and fun as Barry Church, 68, can confirm. He worked as a shift foreman before retiring three years ago.

“My retirement plan is to keep active, and as a driver or a porter you are kept very busy. The work is varied, and it’s not just about delivering and collecting furniture. For some of the older people we visit, we are the only people they’ll see all week, so we try to make time for a chat.”

People think moving furniture is all about physical strength, but Barry says there’s a bit more to it than that.

“You need to be calm and level-headed, and patient too as people can sometimes get a bit stressed when furniture is being moved.”

The Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin furniture shop raises vital funds for information and advice services for older people – unlocking millions in benefits and making sure the vulnerable receive the right advice.

Shop manager Paula Hinks says: “We are looking for people who are local to Oswestry and can be make a commitment to volunteering some time each week.”

Barry adds: “There’s a lot of problem solving involved. We recently got a chest of drawers up a spiral staircase. Most of all, it’s great to have a laugh and a joke with other volunteers. I get the fellowship I was losing out on after retiring, and the work keeps me active.”

If you want to find out more about volunteering with Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin please contact Janice Williams or Becky Kelly on 01743 588 570.

Alternatively, if you wish to find out more about volunteering in general, then please email or visit