Meet Roy Osmond
If you pass Roy Osmond on the street, there’s a chance he’ll ask you if you’d like to sponsor him for the Walk for Alzheimer’s. Family, friends, even strangers - Roy knows his approach isn’t for everyone, but when he tells people about the Alzheimer Society of Oxford and the volunteering he’s done, they hardly ever say no.
Roy fundraised for the Walk for Alzheimer’s for about seven years. Although he has been unable to participate for the past couple of years, the friendships and enthusiasm of people at the Walk still stand out to him. “Everybody was friendly and receptive,” he says.
Roy was also a Volunteer Companion for five years, a program his wife volunteered in as well. He was paired with six matches. It was a gratifying experience, he says, but it was also emotionally challenging. He was twice paired with people he was friends with, and lost both of them.
“I didn’t know it was going to be so tough, as a companion and losing somebody,” he says. But Roy has no regrets. He enjoyed volunteering because he wanted to make a difference in the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The Volunteer Companion program wasn’t Roy’s first experience with dementia. His mother-in-law also lived with the disease.
Roy’s commitment to raising awareness about the Alzheimer Society is self-evident. In addition to his enthusiastic fundraising outreach, he also promotes the organization in his hospital volunteering role.
“They’re a great group. They do a great job. Anywhere I can, I promote them.”