About Us

About Us

At FCV Dorcas we believe no one should be alone. Our voluntary organisation supports isolated older people living in Central and South Islington, with the sole aim to enhance their quality of life.

Our Volunteers offer a range of support services, which include befriending visits, telephone befriending, assisted shopping trips and outings, a twice-weekly Lunch Club and help with practical tasks. Many people approach FCV Dorcas for help with an elderly person, including social workers, health workers, family members and friends.

There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone who needs it. The work of FCV Dorcas can provide a valuable experience for those wanting to pursue opportunities in care or community work.

FCV Dorcas brings together two well-established voluntary organisations based in Islington. Finsbury and Clerkenwell Volunteers (FCV) was established in 1971 to help housebound or elderly people in need. From small beginnings the organisation became a registered charity in 1974.

Dorcas Befriending Project (Dorcas*) was established in 2001 to provide voluntary befriending services to older and disabled adults within the local community around Canonbury. These two organisations merged in August 2015.

*Dorcas: The meaning of Dorcas is good Samaritan, do-er of good deeds.

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2017 in numbers

80

active befriending relationships

1,412

Lunch club meals served

109

active telephone befriending relationships

18,230

volunteer hours

Services we offer

FCV Dorcas provides the following services for elderly and disabled clients living in Central and South Islington:

Befriending

This is a hugely valuable one-on-one service, matching volunteers with clients whose mobility is constrained usually by age but occasionally by disability. The volunteer meets the client once or sometimes more often each week. We currently have 80 relationships and take huge care to match the right volunteer with the right client.

Telephone Club

This is a telephone befriending service currently used by more than 100 clients who receive a call from a volunteer once or twice a week. Many of these clients are among the most housebound of all our clients. Some clients enjoy a chat, others just want to know that someone is going to be in touch. We also act as a liaison point with members of clients’ families, a large number of whom have moved away from the area.

Lunch Club

This meets on a Monday and Thursday at the Vibast Centre, Old Street, London. It is entirely run by volunteers and we have regular volunteer support from local businesses. We provide transport to and from the club for those who are unable to get there by themselves, using our two wheelchair accessible minibuses.

Shopping Trips

We organise weekly shopping trips to various nearby shopping centres using our own minibuses and provide volunteer escorts as required. This has a practical benefit to clients but is also an opportunity for them to get out of their homes and to socialise. Our minibuses are driven by volunteer drivers.

Outings/Events

We organise occasional outings to the seaside in the summer months and other social events such as tea dances and theatre trips throughout the year.

Art Group

One of our volunteers runs a thriving Art Group which meets weekly at the Bridge Centre, N1. The group produces art and handiwork of a very high standard and they occasionally exhibit and sell their work.

Gardening

Volunteers provide gardening support & some companionship for our elderly clients by keeping their garden tidy and well maintained.

The area we work in

One of the strengths of FCV Dorcas is that it is very local, helping people within our communities. The organisation operates in and around the Central and South areas of the London Borough of Islington, broadly covering the N1 and EC1 postcode areas.

This map shows the area of Islington we work in: