Volunteers in communities all over the country are doing amazing work every day of the year. Those who give up their time to support SeeAbility are no different. At Heather House’s 20 birthday celebrations in the summer, two amazing ladies who’ve been volunteering since the day we opened shared their stories.

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“Since starting as a volunteer twenty years ago, I have had the privilege of meeting and making new friends with our young people and their families.

“Each young person is different, and they are always encouraged to find out what they would like to do and what their interests are. My role over the years has involved craft sessions, draft games, reading stories with them and also singing. As a result I have learnt much about the modern music scene and can honestly say I must now be the most trendy Granny on the block!

“Not every day is easy but something lovely always happens and I always leave feeling uplifted by our chats and laughter. Every day our young people are told that they are greatly loved by our wonderful staff.”Dorothy Thomas

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“In the first week of my retirement an open day was advertised and I went along out of curiosity. As yet there were no residents and it seemed to me like a five star hotel! There was a need for volunteers to help out, once the young people came so, knowing absolutely nothing about what this entailed, I thought I would give it a go… and the rest is history!

“My teaching and musical backgrounds were quickly in use as I did some reading and singing. My real interest though was hydrotherapy and I was privileged to be able to help in the pool for many years… a great joy and a huge learning curve, thanks to the enthusiasm and patience of the physio team.

“I never imagined or thought about the emotional ties that would evolve, both with the young people and their families. I have got to know and love so many youngsters and I have been warmly welcomed by so many people over the last twenty years - I thank them all for that. Mutual support is something we are all proud of – we are able to laugh and shed tears together.

“There have inevitably been moments of great sadness, but many more of great joy too! A major lesson for me has been to accept and encourage the young people to achieve as much as they can at the present time and not to dwell on what they can no longer do. Definitely SeeAbility!

I think my favourite moment of acceptance came just a few weeks ago when a young lady I was helping in a relaxation session greeted me with ‘hello Granny” – what a compliment!”Eirlys Davies