“Before I came to St Christopher’s, I worked for over 30 years, mainly in the oil and gas exploration industry until I was “retired” (putting it nicely!) 3 years ago. I started my career as a mathematician working in R&D, but moved over to IT support and development, before progressing to software administration and spending most of my time chairing meetings; writing reports about meetings; having pre-meetings, meetings and post-meetings about reports; and writing more reports about reports. I was glad to go!
“After retiring, I heard on the grapevine that there were volunteering opportunities helping out in the hospice gardens, (I have always enjoyed gardening as break from sitting at a desk) so I took it on. St Christopher’s is an organisation I’ve been aware of all my life, (I grew up in Croydon but now live in Bromley) – my mum said to me that if I were to volunteer for a charity, I should give St Christopher’s first refusal and mums are always right, aren’t they ?
“Since I joined last summer, I have taken on extra volunteering roles in one of the retail shops in order to try something new and challenging, as well as going back to IT support (well, I couldn’t really stay away …)
“Volunteering has certainly given me a sense of purpose – and is much better than having a “seven day” weekend with early retirement! Unfortunately, I do spend a lot of time in organising care management for my elderly and disabled parents (both now 90) – especially with my mum being diagnosed with advanced dementia. It has been really helpful to talk to other volunteers and staff in order to gain insights and share experiences.
“Volunteering has been hugely rewarding and beneficial. Time is a precious commodity to be used wisely. I hope that our collective past experience and life skills can be used to best effect at St Christopher’s. There is nothing to be afraid of and nothing that we cannot undertake! (Including scooping up Colin’s catty deposits in the garden – no, don’t put that in !! Oh, go on then …)”