Amherst Neighbors volunteer Linda Spink returns home with member Audrey Child. Photo: Stephen Braun

A new organization seeking to connect local volunteers with older adults and create new social opportunities will be holding an inaugural celebration titled “Aging Well in Community” on Sunday, March 29th from 3-5:30 PM at the Red Barn at Hampshire College.  

Amherst Neighbors will be a free service offering a wide range of assistance to older adults in Amherst and Pelham, says Liz Welsh, president of the group. 

“With the growing number of older adults in our community we have lots of retired people with skills, expertise, and energy and we also have people who need a little extra help and are at risk of isolation,” Welsh says. “Amherst Neighbors wants to be an antidote to that isolation.  By strengthening all parts of our older community, we aim to make Amherst an even richer town for all of us.”   

Speaking at the celebration on the 29th will be State Representative Mindy Domb, and State Senator Jo Comerford. The Amherst Area Gospel Choir and Caravan Chorus will perform. Welsh and Pat Romney, a member of the Amherst Neighbors board, will speak about the group’s programs, plans and how to get involved. 

Amherst Neighbors Board:  Front Row: Linda Spink, Carlie Tartakov, Pat Romney, Marilyn Denny.  Back Row: Liz Welsh, Ann Sklar, Theresa Ahrens, Linda Terry, Caroline Lederman. Photo: Stephen Braun.

“We envision volunteers helping with household tasks, transportation, and just paying social visits,” Welsh says. “Tasks that have suddenly gotten tricky such as replacing a high light bulb, taking down drapes, walking a dog after surgery, or figuring out an iPad, are just the kinds of things Amherst Neighbors volunteers could help with.” 

Amherst Neighbors volunteers can be adults of any age, but the services provided (all free) will be limited to those age 55 years and older. The group also plans to host social gatherings and events with topics including art appreciation, caregiving, storytelling, game playing, open mic nights, discussion groups, finding a hiking companion, or getting together for coffee or a movie. 

“The premise of the organization is reciprocity,” Welsh says. “We all have something to both give and to receive.”   

For more information contact Amherst Neighbors by email here at: or call at 413 345-2555.

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