Helping different people is fun and I didn’t expect it to be as easy and enjoyable as it is. That’s why I have had the confidence to help out on so many different projects ...
Paul Easton has been a GYCT volunteer for several years, working in a variety of roles and projects across the Trust. He currently helps to run some of the local community groups at the Priory Centre, including Indoor Short Mat Bowls, the Priory Online Centre and the Priory Friendship Club. He also helps out at any events as needed.
The Priory Online Centre runs daily, Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm, and you will see Paul there most days, running the IT Suite and giving one-to-one skills support/tuition where needed. Originally set up to introduce beginners to the internet, including activities such as Skyping friends and family, getting started on Facebook, shopping or banking online, it has now become a useful resource for those looking to access Universal Credit, Universal Job Match and personal emails.
The Short Mat Bowls group is relatively new. It serves as a useful introduction for those interested in getting started with the game, but it caters for all levels of experience. It takes place on a Friday in the Priory Centre's Noble Hall, allowing it to run year round. Paul's role here has become supervisory, as he is helped by other volunteers.
Friday is a big day at the Priory Centre, with several activities running back to back for the local community. The entertainment starts at 12 noon with bowls and visitors are then able to stay for a community lunch in the Priory Cafe. Menus run from old favourites such as toad in the hole and pasta dishes to the rather exotic, often themed on special calendar events such as St Patricks or Valentine's Day. When the lunch finishes the Friendship Club starts. As its name suggests this is a friendly social group for adults. It has become extremely popular, but its doors are always open to newcomers. Activities include arts and crafts, dominoes, table-tennis or board games, but many just come to read the newspaper or have a chat. Paul's role here is to offer general help with any activities if required, particularly arts and crafts or special themed activities, but also to be on hand to offer one to one support if needed.
Paul has become part of the 'GYCT family' after so many years and the varied roles he has undertaken during this period have brought him experience and training in many different areas. He has also found it extremely rewarding:
"I originally started volunteering to give me something to do and get me out of the house. I hoped that volunteering would also help to build my confidence, which it has done for me. Helping different people is fun and I didn’t expect it to be as easy and enjoyable as it is. That’s why I have had the confidence to help out on so many different projects."
Finally he adds: "To anyone who is thinking about volunteering, I would definitely say: “give it a try!”.
We currently have vacancies for an Online Centre Volunteer and for a Friendship Club Volunteer. To see the full range of our volunteering opportunities visit our Current Opportunities page.
Alternatively call our Volunteering Coordinator, Joleen Azevedo, for a chat:
T: 01493 743014 E: firstname.lastname@example.org