We asked husband and wife team Gareth and Jill why they volunteer for Halesworth Volunteers.
I volunteer as a Community Car Driver. I like doing the longer runs so you can often see me at our 3 local hospitals. Taking people to hospital appointments, particularly if they are hearing difficult news is a big responsibility but it is so rewarding too.
• Volunteering has increased my self-confidence and interpersonal skills
• I meet and talk with people who have widely differing life stories and experiences
• Waiting at the hospital means I have time to relax, read and listen to music
• I am able to see the beautiful East Anglian countryside through the changing seasons
• I can now understand 3 words in 4 of the people who have lived in Suffolk all their lives
• Finally, having had to use the service myself to get to hospital appointments soon after we moved here, I am ‘giving back to Halesworth Volunteers'
I am an Isolation Buster. I have supported a number of people who live alone. My latest lady is a real character. I have also supported someone as they approached the end of their life – a real privilege.
• When I started volunteering I thought I would help others and, yes, I have ( I think). But I never realised how much I would help myself
• When I talk about volunteering to others I hope it might inspire them to ’sign up’. You never know when you may need the help of a stranger. Who if you are very lucky becomes a firm friend
• It is difficult to describe volunteering without sounding pompous, but it is simply described as a ‘warm fuzzy’ feeling helping someone else in the local community
• It gets you out
• I once got a lovely compliment from the daughter of the lady I visit, saying “Your visits are as good as a tonic”
• You can make a difference to someone’s life and help someone less fortunate or without a voice.
• You can give something back to your community and to Halesworth Volunteers
• You can gain confidence and boost your self-esteem
• You can be part of something special – making changes or improvements to the life of your community.
• Volunteering can be a route to employment, you can build your CV or learn new skills
• You can have fun and made new friends.