In this National Volunteers Week, I was asked “Why do I volunteer?’”
Having been working full time for many years I dropped down to part-time but wanted to keep my brain active and also give something back. I considered several things but in particular, I wanted to use my skills, not to be tied to certain hours a month and, most importantly, to enjoy the work and the team I was volunteering with.
I first met Susan Oliver just before one of her various operations and we always chatted about the work that she was doing with the charity. When she knew I was finishing my contract she managed to persuade me to help out. My first event was on a conference stand in Paris for two days, when I tried very hard to avoid saying “pseudomyxoma” as I did not know how to pronounce it! I now know that it’s pronounced ‘sue-doh-mix-oh-muh pary-ih-ton-nee-i’.
As I do not have personal experience of PMP, I have taken on the role of treasurer and also support the fundraising efforts of our donors. In addition, I volunteer with Natural England at the local nature reserve which involves fencing, planting, land clearance as well as building bird and wildlife habitats. The two roles are very different but I love them both.
Other volunteering stories
To be able to chat with others and offer just a tiny virtual hug or an emoji smile can make all the difference. It did for me at a very scary time.
I’m achieving something here. I matter. I am making a difference. Feeling a useful part of the volunteer team perhaps pays back some of the support I’ve received.
I’m keen to show my children that volunteering your time and energy is important and that despite my medical retirement I’m not giving up on my values.