Volunteering is one those things that I’ve had in my head to do for some time now but have never quite got round to. Therefore, when Lizzie from ‘Islington Giving’ came to do a talk at a staff meeting, it was the perfect opportunity for me to make a start.
Sadly, a couple of years ago my lovely aunt and uncle both passed away and I very much miss them. I used to visit them regularly, helping out around the house and garden with things they were finding more difficult to do as they were getting older. My relationship with them and the affinity I have with older people is what made me volunteer for Age UK.
Every Wednesday from 2-4pm I ‘host’ a local Islington community group where we do different activities each week. The members themselves choose what they want to do and activities range from knitting to playing bingo and more recently sewing bunting for a Music Hall event. At the last couple of sessions we made Christmas cards. Most of the group members live on the local Packington Estate and it’s a great opportunity for them to get together and catch up.
We have teas and coffees and one of the ladies bakes for us, which is always a bonus! Sometimes we just chat about the good old days and occasionally a guest speaker will come to talk to everyone from a local organisation. These sessions are always very good and get everyone fired up. This week we have a local doctor coming to talk to the group about taking care of themselves during the winter months.
I am not the most confident of people but volunteering definitely brings me out of myself. I quite often head off to these sessions feeling stressed from my work but when I get there, I completely relax and enjoy myself. It is fantastic to think that I am doing some good for other people and hopefully everyone in the group looks forward to our get togethers as much as I do.
If you feel inspired by Fiona’s story then please visit the Islington Giving website and find out more about their work: http://www.islingtongiving.org.uk/website/