To conclude volunteers week, we want to put lovely volunteer Jane in the spotlight. Jane, a 66-year-old retiree, has found her calling at the Community Waffle House in Axminster, where she has been dedicating her time and skills for almost two years. She supports their admin to underpin the amazing work they do in the community and beyond. She also helps out with the school workshops they run to spread the word about having adventurous conversations and developing good listening skills.
"I don't stop banging on about my volunteering time at Waffle to friends, family and anyone who will listen!" She believes that volunteering at Waffle offers a two-fold benefit. "Not only am I able to use my time, skills and experience to support Waffle with the amazing work they do in the community, but it has given me a sense of purpose and a feeling of being wanted/needed and giving back to the community," she explains.
When asked to describe her volunteering experience in just three words, "Awesome, fulfilling, fun, interesting, rewarding," she says, unable to choose just three. Volunteering at Waffle has become the best thing she has done since retiring, and she is immensely grateful for the opportunity it provides.
Jane emphasises the importance of intergenerational connections and breaking away from the assumption that older people should only socialise with peers. "There is an assumption that older people want to/should be with people of their own age, but spending time with younger people is also just as relevant," she passionately states. Having retired from a senior position working with diverse community of people from a wide spectrum of age groups, Jane feels strongly about the value of these connections.
Not only does volunteering benefit the organisations and communities being served, but it also brings purpose, connection, and joy to the volunteers themselves. Jane's involvement at the Community Waffle House has shown her that age should not restrict connections, and that giving back can be an enriching experience for people of all ages.
Thank you to Jane and all of the wonderful people who give up their time to help others!