The work of volunteers plays a vital role in making our town a unique and vibrant place. We are delighted to be sharing with you a collection of volunteering stories to highlight and celebrate some of the work done by charities and volunteers.
Sharon has been volunteering at the Globe Luncheon Club since 2017. Sharon is no stranger to volunteering, previously using her HR experience as a trustee at Mind and the Mary Seacole Day nursery. Currently, she is volunteering at the luncheon club which is a place where older people can have a delicious home-cooked meal every week as well as do various activities such as quizzes and fun exercise classes. Previously trips out have been organised to places such as Stratford, Brixton and Dalston. The club is organised through her Church, which is how she first found out about it. Sharon praises the diversity of the club stating that nearly every Caribbean country is represented by the members.
Sharon describes some of the ways she is involved, including helping out in the kitchen, preparing food and ensuring all members are happy with their food. She has also been involved in a Windrush event for celebrating black history coordinating speakers and making sure this event ran smoothly. Recently, she taught herself how to use publisher and is using her new skills to be involved in everything – this includes creating fabulous menus, as well as being the editor of the newsletter.
Sharon says this may be her most satisfying role, and it is certainly a varied one. The newsletter contains everything from a run down of recent events, to delicious recipes that readers can try for themselves. Taking up the role as editor pushed Sharon out of her comfort zone and her own experiences but allowed her to develop so many new skills and produce an excellent newsletter that perfectly represented the club. This just highlights one of the many benefits of volunteering, allowing you to try new things and develop skills outside of your daily life.
Sharon describes the importance of volunteering in a role such as this. Creating a welcoming environment for elderly people to regularly meet and socialise can be a lifeline for many who may feel isolated, especially during the lockdown period. She explains the sense of satisfaction she gets from seeing the member’s spirits lifted and the benefits it has on their mental health.
The impact of Covid has meant the club has needed to temporarily cease meeting, but this does not mean the Globe luncheon club has stopped supporting people. The creation of a Whatsapp group for members to stay in touch, as well as Sharon and others regularly calling and checking in on members, are just a few examples of ways in which they have adapted to a post-Covid world. The food donated that is normally used to create the meal for the club is now being used to create food parcels for anyone who may be in need during these difficult times. The adaptability and flexibility of Sharon and others at the Globe Luncheon club has meant the community is still receiving support when in need.
We want to thank Sharon for the tremendous support she provides to The Globe Luncheon Club.
Inspired by Sharon’s story? Take a look at www.rgneeds.me to find the role for you!