Why I volunteer at the age of 90

Categories: Community Engagement.

Originally from Durham, Laura moved to Swindon with her late husband in 1952 when he was stationed with the Duke of Wellington Regiment. Laura was a full-time mum to her three daughters, and after they had grown up, she worked at Pine Tree Care Home for 14 years.

It was by chance that Laura was passing one of the hospice’s shops when they were recruiting volunteers.  She explains:

“Volunteering had not really crossed my mind until one day a friend of mine took me into one of the Prospect Hospice shops that she had been telling me about. She introduced me to the shop manager, who said “when can you start?” I said, “but you don’t know anything about me!” She told me that my friend had filled her in, and that they would love to have me.”

One of Laura’s highlights was the occasion she helped the Mayor of Swindon choose an outfit.  She recalls:

“[The Mayor] came into the shop once to buy a suit. I helped pick the right one, with some black suede shoes to match.”

On continuing with her role at Prospect Hospice at the age of 90, she says:

“I really enjoy volunteering and I am proud of what I do. Volunteering is a wonderful thing, especially if you are retired, because it does you good to get out and meet people. It is a purpose of life.”
“I would encourage anyone to volunteer, whether you are young, unemployed, or retired. It is a gift that gives you so much in return.”
Laura Williams, the shop’s manager, praised her work ethic:

“Laura has a lot of pride in our store and loves nothing more than hearing customers compliment the shop. She always likes to hear if we have had a good sales week.”
“She is always the first to help us if we are short of volunteers for a day. Laura is known by all of our long time regulars, who always ask after her if she is not here, and the younger ones soon get to know her cheeky sense of humour and wise words.”

For more information visit Prospect Hospice

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