I retired in June 2019 and was keen to get involved in a local charity and my daughter recommended Gloucestershire Young Carers as a great charity to work with. I was keen to work with children as I had previously volunteered at Brownies, Sunday school and youth groups. I joined as a volunteer in early 2020 but couldn’t do much as my husband got ill and the covid pandemic started. I was planning to help with one of the young carers groups on an evening but they have had to stop – they are in the process of restarting so I am hoping to be able to help this year. I have helped by wrapping books for Christmas gifts, preparing packs for an event and I have become a volunteer driver and took 3 young carers to an event in Cirencester for a residential, one of the first since the lockdown.
I love volunteering as it gives me an opportunity to meet new people to share my experiences and hear about others. This role makes me feel like I am adding value to society and keeps me engaged with the wider society.
I was very lucky to be asked to become a trustee and have been one for a year. I enjoy this role, especially as I am the link with the young carers forum and during the pandemic we had zoom meetings and which gave me an insight into how they were coping with lockdown and I was able to share with the board of trustees. GYC has some ambitious plans for the future and it is a privilege to be part of them.
If anyone is thinking of volunteering then I would recommend GYC because there are a number of ways you can help and it is not a full time commitment. Also the team are very approachable and supportive. I have learnt a lot about Young Carers both through volunteering and being a trustee and am constantly amazed by their resilience and their outlook on life.