Volunteer Stories

The first hand experiences of some of our volunteers

Carol Holden

Together with her fantastic team of volunteers, Carol Holden runs the Loveworks’ Cuppa Tea Club for the elderly. The CTC runs every last Thursday of each month in Betchworth with members attending from Redhill/Merstham Age Concern. The club runs for two hours, where they are offered sandwiches and tea during the first hour, with some form of activity during the second hour.

Carol told us “Getting old can be and is for many people a very lonely, frightening and isolating time, this is now a major social issue. We aim through the Cuppa Tea Club to address some of these concerns. These people are lovely, friendly and often very funny who have great stories to tell. We will all get old, it is a fact of life, but we should not be ignored because of this.

I get great enjoyment and pleasure from meeting and interacting with these amazing ladies and gentlemen who make me laugh and sometimes cry with their stories about their lives and families. It is a real pleasure meeting these members who have and continue to enrich my life. We would love to expand the Cuppa Tea Club. There is a real need for this type of event in the community.”

Sarah Brondson

Sarah Brondson is the lead volunteer at the Loveworks Wayside Pamper Evenings . Sarah writes “I think the partnership that Loveworks and Ultrasun/Grafters have with Wayside is a fabulous idea. It allows the girls at wayside to come together and have a ‘family’ night, while being able to take the night off from cooking /cleaning and just be spoilt.

The volunteers are friendly and fun, which is reflected on the girls getting more involved and some branching out of their comfort zones. They are all very creative with some pretty great cake design each week. Grafters have been superb in bring different ideas each week and offering all different types of support if it is needed. The learning experience on the products & cooking hasn’t just been for the girls, I’ve also learnt a fair few new things.”

It’s a great way to meet new people as the volunteers are all from the local area. I hope the girls enjoy it as much as we do.”

Graham Humphries – Food Bank Manager Team 3

“Being part of the food bank allows me to give to the community that little support that I feel makes a real difference. For me, working in the foodbank is all about being part of a group who are likeminded and enjoy helping those in our community with greatest need.

Any one of us is sometimes only one or two steps away from a financial crisis that might leave us temporarily unable to feed ourselves or those we love. Working in the food bank is a humbling experience as you never know who you will meet. They are often embarrassed and anxious and being able to welcome them, offer support and listen to their need for our support is a privilege.

We are fortunate, thanks to those who support us to be able to give some dignity to people in need. It is very easy to give up a small amount of time and I personally find the whole experience of volunteering enriching and valuable. Of course, food banks like ours simply do not exist without the support we get from families, schools, churches and local businesses in the Reigate area, so a huge thank you and do please keep donating food to us, it really does help so many people.”