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90-year-old volunteer shows you are never too old to make a difference

ONE of Frome’s oldest – or possibly even the town’s oldest – volunteer was honoured with a civic award by Frome Mayor, Kate Bielby, at a special tea party held on Monday 20th July.

Jo Dismore, who turned 90 on the day, has been volunteering with Somerset You Can Do as an Active and In Touch Frome volunteer befriender since 2013.  He is also a volunteer for the town’s Police Post, was also a long serving volunteer with the Frome Tourist Information service, and regularly records the Talking Newspaper for The Great Elm Book Club.

Amongst other things, Jo is an acting member of the Frome Drama Club, appearing in their last two productions, and at the age of 85 he became a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.  On 1st June this year (aged 89), he was presented with a Certificate of Excellence for the Institute’s Mature Driver Assessment.

Lucia Chadwick, Active and In Touch volunteer coordinator said, “Jo is such a wonderful volunteer befriender.  He has been supporting one of our beneficiaries with weekly visits for nearly two years now.  Jo takes him out and has even helped with hospital visits when needed.  In fact, whenever Active and In Touch needs extra support with an event or fundraising opportunity he is always ready to lend a hand.”

Frome Mayor, Kate Bielby, who presented Jo with the Civic Award at his birthday tea party said, “On behalf of the town council, and indeed the whole of Frome, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Jo Dismore for his tireless and generous work as a volunteer to help others.

“He brings a lifetime of experience and skill to his work with Active and In Touch Frome and the town’s Police Post.

“I would like him to know how much we appreciate the immense value to our community of this as well as his time, energy and commitment.

“Jo is a wonderful example to others and proof that you are never too old to make a huge difference to those around you. It has been a great pleasure to wish Jo a very happy birthday.”

Active and In Touch volunteers meet isolated, elderly and vulnerable people and spend time with them, find out their needs and interests, and help them to find their own place in the community.

Each Tuesday the volunteers run the Active Tuesday group at Phoenix House for their members, and each week there is a different activity, from pottery sessions and cooking workshops, to visits to local gardens and local interest talks.

Over the last three years the volunteer befrienders have helped many different people.  All the group’s volunteers are now registered with Somerset You Can Do who provide training and induction.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, Somerset You Can Do will have a stand at ASDA in Frome on Wednesday 19th August, where you can meet other volunteers and find out more about how you can help neighbours in need.

Anyone who feels they might like to volunteer their time to help others or who may know someone who might benefit from this support can call Lucia Chadwick on 07572 854029, call Somerset You Can Do on 01278 664 180, visit the Somerset You Can Do website on  or send an email to

Active and In Touch Frome share an office space with Fair Frome at the Frome Town Council, 5, Palmer Street, (BA11 1DS).  The office is manned between 10.00am – 3.00pm, Monday to Wednesday.