I’ve been volunteering lots and for a very long time! I’m currently volunteering for three roles – as vice chairman of the local volunteer-run theatre friends, as a committee member for my old University society, and I’m a trustee of a local educational charity – and I’ve done other roles in the past, it certainly keeps me busy!
Until recently, I’d also been an NHS Volunteer Responder during the Covid pandemic, and helped with a school lunch delivery project, which was part of the national Marcus Rashford scheme.
As an NHS Volunteer Responder, I was speaking to people who hadn’t talked to another human being for days. They were so appreciative to hear from me. Doing the lunch delivery project gave me sympathy for delivery drivers… some addresses are so hard to find! With my volunteering though, I only choose the causes and organisations I have a personal interest in or where I feel I’m helping out in my local community.
All my roles have been, and are, such rewarding things to get involved in, helping me to make a difference, feel part of a team, and make new friends. It’s great when people say they really appreciate what you’ve done… it can be something that you think is perfectly trivial, but to them it means a lot.
People have asked me what the difference is to paid work. I think the big difference is that volunteering can be done under your own terms, so if somebody’s asking you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with, or you just don’t want to do it, then you can just say no.
I’d still like to do more volunteering and I’d love to use some of my other skills too. I’m a keen amateur pianist and play the clarinet. I’m also interested in mentoring so I think something like music therapy would be good – I will be looking out for these opportunities on Go Volunteer Glos!