In this interview, we speak to gardening volunteers Mike and Roger. Roger is also a long-term member of Accuro’s Adult Friendship Scheme in Uttlesford.
Q. Roger, you have been a member of the Adult Friendship Scheme for some time, what has this involved?
A. Roger – We have done lots of things in groups together. We have been to the seaside at Clacton, been to Newmarket and gone car racing. The last thing we did before lockdown was to go to the cinema at Saffron Screen in Saffron Walden where I live. I have made lots of friends and keep in touch with them now on the phone. Kerry who runs the scheme at Accuro has been in touch to see how I am too.
Q. How did you hear about the volunteer opportunity?
A. Mike – I live in Great Hallingbury, just down the road. I am retired and saw an advert for volunteer gardener in the parish magazine. I thought I would give it a go and started volunteering in October.
Roger – I attended a BBQ party for members at Accuro in the garden at Tocher House and was telling some of the staff that before I retired, I worked part-time for Glendale Services in grounds maintenance. After that I was invited to become a volunteer gardener and started working in the garden with Mike in December.
Q. Was volunteering for a local charity important for you?
A. Mike – Yes, helping a charity was part of the attraction of the role.
Roger – Yes, it is a good feeling to be helping Accuro and giving back.
Q. Thank you both so much for the wonderful work that you do for Accuro. Can you tell me about what you have got out of your volunteering?
A. Mike – It is really enjoyable, and I look forward to coming in every week. It is better now that we can work together in the garden at a suitable distance of course. I enjoy being able to help a charity and working with Roger has been great.
Roger – I enjoy the volunteering and missed not being able to come during lockdown. It has been ok as I have been walking and keeping busy, but I am pleased to be back.
Q. Would you recommend volunteering?
A. Mike – Yes, it is very rewarding and gives you purpose. I would recommend it.
Roger – Yes. I can use my skills, I enjoy it.
To find out more about volunteer roles at Accuro visit accuro.org.uk/get–involved/volunteering.