Fulfilled living in later life

Thursday 2nd May 2024

Meet a volunteer... Colin at Shottermill House

Colin, 77, shares how he finds fulfilment and has learnt new skills through volunteering at Shottermill House in Haslemere

I’ve been volunteering for just over a year. Anne [the Registered Care Manager at Shottermill House] and I go to the same church. She mentioned how there was a gentleman at the home who enjoyed a game of chess and couldn’t find anyone to play with. I like chess too so I volunteered to play with him.

I now volunteer twice a week, on a Tuesday and a Friday. Volunteering gives an extra dimension to one’s life. It feels good doing something that will bring joy and happiness to other people. It fills two days of the week where I know I’ve done something really worthwhile.

One thing I do is take the devotions. This isn’t something I’ve ever done before and at first I wasn’t certain I would do it very well. However, there’s always a prepared text to read and a closing prayer so it’s an easy format to follow.

The family members find a lot of comfort in hearing from the Bible. Afterwards, I’ll speak to them about the reading, asking if they understood it and what they liked. It’s wonderful to help them be firm in the belief that they are going to Heaven.

Pilgrims Friend Shottermill House Colin cropped

I also spend time reading with family members. Often we’ll read articles from The Pilgrims’ Magazine – they like to hear about what’s happening in other care homes. We also read a ‘good news’ newspaper which has lots of cheering stories. A lot of the older people have very poor eyesight and find reading difficult so they are very appreciative when someone reads to them.

I join in with the activities too and I’ve discovered I have a bit of an artistic streak. Recently, I helped one of the lady’s make an Easter bonnet. We were awarded the prize of runner-up in the competition which was nice. I’ll also do things like help make get well soon cards. People have commented that they like the effects I create with colouring in. This isn’t something I realised I had an aptitude for before.

For 10 years I was caring for my own father. This gave me a lot of experience in how to care for an elderly person and I’ve been able to bring that to this role. I understand some of the challenges.

A little while ago I was mayor for the local town of Bordon. As mayor I met a lot of interesting people and some of the most inspiring people I met were those who volunteered. I think that’s in part inspired me to become a volunteer myself. I would very much miss it if I wasn’t able to come.

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Pilgrimsfriend Volunteering DSC01588 001


Volunteers play a vital role in supporting the life of our homes. Come and be a friendly face and brighten someone's day