Thoughts on ‘Volunteering’

Frenchay News

I wanted to write this month on a personal level rather than give a Parish Council report.

During the pandemic we have seen in the media people who have selflessly given up time to help others in small and big ways. What a remarkable man Sir Captain Tom Moore was and the funds he raised in the run up to his 100th birthday. Children sleeping in tents to fund raise and volunteers helping people with anxiety and depression for example. I admire the lifeboat/RNLI volunteers you see on TV who in an emergency stop the day job and risk their lives trying to save others.

There are people within any community who volunteer to help others, it could be the church, youth sports, or litter picking as examples. I have spent long spells in hospital in the past 12 months and had time to reflect and observe perhaps more than I would perhaps like. Nurses who do 12 hour shifts and still make time to volunteer in the community, my admiration goes out to people like that.

Like you, I have observed people who are selfish and ungrateful during the pandemic and in life in general. You may not be able to physically or have other reasons why you may not be able to help others or volunteer. You are free to congratulate or criticise volunteers, some people give and others take, as some of us observe.

If you are able to why not give a little time to your community? Volunteer for an hour or two at next year’s Flower Show on the common? Help an elderly neighbour with half an hour’s gardening? As Oscar Wilde said ‘The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention’. I like the quote ‘Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.'

Paul Kembery