I have always helped older people in my neighbourhood and it has given me real pleasure to assist them with small tasks such as shopping, posting letters, putting the bin out etc. This though, was something else. It would be a regular commitment to fit into my already hectic life of family, degree study and running a home. I put the paper to one side and continued with my essay.
Over the course of that day and during the weekend, I kept picking up the paper and reading the article. By Monday I had made up my mind to phone the Club Leader for a chat and we arranged for me to visit the club the following Friday to see what they did there.
I crossed the threshold with some trepidation – what was I letting myself in for? I need not have worried. I was met with welcoming smiles from volunteers and club members alike and spent two very pleasant hours in their company, by which time I had realised I wanted to be involved in a meaningful way.
Almost nine years have passed since that eventful day and how fast they have flown!
Volunteering really is a two-way street: you give of your time, you play a vital role in encouraging older people out of isolation and you help to provide a friendly environment where members make friends, have fun and feel welcome and secure. In return, you come to realise that you too are making friends and that your life is enriched by your decision to volunteer. Each time I attend a club session, I smile as I go in knowing that I have become part of a ‘family’, which I cherish. Why don’t you try it for yourself?