Prior to lockdown, I attended the Llandrindod Wells Meeting Centre as a Volunteer and my own move to Newtown coincided with the opening of our Meeting Centre here. I literally do whatever is needed of me. That can include, meet and greet at the door, supporting both Members and Carers, encouraging Members participating myself in all activities within the Centres. Contributing towards suggestions for agendas for the Centres, taking all relevant courses, attending in-house and external training and conferences and making sure no Member or Carer leaves our Centre without a Hug from Viv!
I got involved through Sandra Sankey who was looking for Volunteers for the new DMIP Meeting Centre in Llandrindod Wells. She came to the retirement scheme where I was living to meet the scheme manager and leave details for any future Members and instead she left with a Volunteer! My reason was very personal to me. I returned to Wales to care for my parents, my Mum having been diagnosed with Parkinsons. Following my Dad's death my Mum went on to develop a form of Dementia associated with Parkinson's. As an only child, and no immediate family, and no care provision, I was the sole carer for over 3 years and had no idea where to turn for help having lived in the Channel Islands for over 33 years. To hear about the concept behind the Meeting Centres immediately drew me in. How I would have embraced such a facility when caring for my Mum. Not only support for Mum but support for myself as well. I just knew it was something I wanted to be involved in.
I think I have always been confident in myself which probably comes from being an only child and creating a career for myself away from home at quite a young age. I was a Volunteer in Jersey and assisted with thesetting up of a Charity called Jersey Aids Relief. I am now in my early stage of retirement but love to meet new people, make new friends and find new interests. DMIP fulfills all of these in abundance! I am very interactive with all our friends (members and Carers) and rather touchingly, they have said I was missed at one time when I could not be present. I am also very happy to say that my hugs are reciprocated
I am a great believer in you get back what you give. I give my love and I feel it back. It is just a win win situation and I always leave our Meeting Centres with a skip.
If I were to sum up volunteering in a sentence it would be ‘We are all in it together without titles’.