This week’s Volunteero of the week is Suzanne! 77 year old Suzanne is one of our most active users for Age UK Barnsley, volunteering as part of their befriending programme. Befriending initiatives such as this aim to fight loneliness and isolation via calls or meet ups. She expressed that she has most recently been increasing her volunteering efforts now that she is able to be out and about more post lockdown.
Suzanne describes herself as an active person who loves people, so it was no surprise to learn that she has been involved in volunteering in every place she has lived throughout her life. This includes her last role in Bournemoth before moving, at dementia charity called PramaCare.
“I just like to give back and help people less fortunate than myself. It helps me as much as I hope it helps other people”
It was a pleasure to learn of Suzanne’s most memorable experience that taught her the importance of volunteering. Whilst volunteering at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, she took the opportunity to become a PA and seeing guide for her manager at the time, something she describes as “the funniest and most rewarding job she has ever done”. Suzanne went on to tell some amazing anecdotes, ranging from her boss taking her on courses blindfolded so that she could really experience what those who she was helping felt, and at one point, accidentally giving him directions to a pub broom cupboard rather than the bathroom!
Despite the laughable memories Suzanne had from this period of her life, she looks back on it as the point in which she realised how her sight was something that she took for granted day to day, and what prompted her to continue to help people wherever possible.
“It made me realise that sight is the one thing I do not know how I would cope without especially haven seen then suddenly blinded at middle age as was my boss”
A big thank you to Suzanne and her astounding volunteering efforts!
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