Toni has been volunteering since 2012 and enjoys the feeling of doing something worthwhile.
How long have you volunteered with Great Croft Resource Centre
I started volunteering in 2012
What is the role and what does it involve?
Anything and everything that might help the smooth running of the centre and the enjoyment of the members. This extends to running errands, sitting and talking to members, helping members with modern technology (phones, tablets etc), calling bingo, playing scrabble, quizzes, travel talks using my holiday photos, odd jobs around the centre, and serving lunch. Just joining in as needed really. I also go to the day trips and to most parties, on days other than my regular Tuesday at the centre.
What made you want to start volunteering?
I took early retirement at age 50 and after several years of trying a range of things to fill my time I decided to look for proper voluntary opportunities. I initially took on two roles, one as a reading helper at a local primary school, and the other on Tuesdays with Age UK Camden. Initially I split my time with Age UK Camden between mornings and lunchtimes at Great Croft, and afternoon sessions at the IT suite in Tavis House. But after a year or so of this arrangement I decided that I preferred the time at Great Croft and devoted the whole of my day to them.
Are there any challenges?
Coming to terms with the death of a member, or when they are too unwell to come to to the centre any longer is always hard, especially the longer I’ve known them. Otherwise it’s a rewarding role rather than a challenging one.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
I am retired from my career in IT. I enjoy lots of outdoor activities, especially bird watching, walking, plus dancing, socialising, and occasionally making furniture.
What’s your favourite thing about volunteering with Great Croft
The banter with the members and staff.
How have you used the skills you’ve learned?
I’m not sure I’ve learned any new skills, but my patience with other people has improved.
What other benefits are there?
The feeling that I’m doing something worthwhile and that my efforts are appreciated.