“I moved to Pembrokeshire when I turned 50, and was keen to find out how I could get involved with the local community. I began volunteering with Volunteering Matters – initially as a befriender on the Welcome Friends project. An opportunity then arose to become the journey booking co-ordinator for Cars4Carers, a scheme that provides transport for carers and cared-for people who are socially isolated. The scheme helps them to travel to health appointments, go shopping and attend social events.
Many wonderful things have come from this role. I have a sense of purpose, as well as ongoing support and encouragement from the project staff, and I engage with lots of different people. One day I might be helping a social worker arrange transport for one of their clients, the next I could be talking with a carer who feels frustrated or desperate. My role has enabled me to build strong relationships with the drivers – without their support I could not meet the objectives of the scheme.
I have found volunteering to be an excellent way of giving something back to people and helping to make their lives a little easier. Working with the staff and volunteers at Volunteering Matters has opened many doors for me and I now look forward to the future with hope and optimism.”