Alan's Volunteer Story
Published to Your Stories on Jun 05, 2017
Alan Meadows is 70 and started volunteering for the hospice on 21st February 2006.
"I’ve worked in Bolton most of life. One of the former chairman’s at my work, who sadly is no longer with us, was a keen supporter of the hospice. Because of him and the fact that I’ve always had this affinity with Bolton, the hospice seemed a good choice to support because it was a local charity as opposed to a national charity.
And so after early retirement, I decided to find out about volunteering there. I wanted to do something not just to fill the time, but to do something useful. I do not underestimate the influence my faith has had in my decision to volunteer. I always felt like something was missing in my life, and I believe that volunteering has helped me to reconnect with my Christian faith and helped me to give back to my community.
I started working on a Wednesday each week on the ward for the lunchtime shift. Which I enjoyed very much, I found it such a humbling experience. Unfortunately I was called back to work after my early retirement so I had to stop working a permanent shift! But I did go on the SOS register for the ward and reception, so whenever I’m needed I can volunteer. I’m still an SOS volunteer for the ward & reception to this day! When I really did retire again, a permanent shift wasn’t available on the ward at the time and the Knowsley Street charity shop was opening so I decided to volunteer at the shop and I’ve been here ever since.
The thing I like the most about volunteering is the people. They’re great, really lovely people.
In our Knowsley street shop, I generally work on the till. With it being the afternoon shift, we then have to balance the money and take it to the bank, tidy the shop up and lock up ready for the next day.
I derive a degree of satisfaction from the knowledge that I’m giving a little bit back. It’s not earth shattering, it’s not going to change the world, but at least I’m doing a bit.
And I do feel good about that. My bit is just that, my bit. But I do feel, I get a sense of pride in doing it.
The highlights of volunteering at Bolton Hospice is the fact there’s a lot of kind people and I get to meet so many new people every week. Also people that I know often ring me and ask me if whether I’d want to take some things to the hospice. So I often get a car full of stuff from different people who probably would not think about the hospice otherwise. Volunteers are a bit like ambassadors for Bolton Hospice and we like to spread the word about the hospice into the community.
The best experience so far for me was probably opening the envelope recently and reading ‘you’re invited to the Bolton Hospice volunteer long service awards’, I was really thrilled about that!
Volunteering at Bolton Hospice gives you a sense of pride, and I know I’m contributing to something bigger that helps the hospice."