“Volunteering at SeeAbility has become part of my life.”
Meet our volunteer Ray. At 72 years old, he's volunteered for a number of years, and has also run over 40 marathons and 200 half marathons in his lifetime. This year, he will be taking part in his second marathon for SeeAbility and he has some words of wisdom for anyone thinking about volunteering or running the London Marathon for SeeAbility.
From volunteer recruiter to volunteer
“I first came across SeeAbility in 2014 at Surrey University where I had a stand to recruit volunteers for the Guildford City Football Club.
“I was approached by a SeeAbility staff member asking whether I could help one of the people they support called Paddy to go to some of the games at the club as he absolutely loves football. A few weeks later, SeeAbility invited me to visit Denecroft, where Paddy lives, and I got to meet Paddy and other people SeeAbility supports. I was so impressed with what everyone was doing there that I decided to sign up as a volunteer.”
Volunteering your time, skills, commitment and friendship can be life-changing. Our volunteers enable people we support to connect with others, participate in their community and try new things.
“Before Covid, Paddy would frequently come down to the football stadium and soak in the atmosphere. He got to meet some of the players and they soon became very familiar with him. I would also spend one afternoon a week volunteering at Denecroft. During my time there, I would sit and talk to people, or sometimes I would take them for a walk around town.
“I also volunteer as an usher at Guildford Hall so, once in a while, I would get some tickets for shows. Paddy loves the band Queen, so I took him to see the Queen Tribute band. He absolutely loved it.”
From meeting up with people for a chat, going for coffee (or a beer), sharing enjoyment of music or books, or group activities like arts and crafts, the volunteering options at SeeAbility are huge and are available across all of our services in Devon, East Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Somerset and Surrey.
“Like everything else, the pandemic made volunteering a little harder, but I am looking forward to being able to see Paddy and the rest of the people at Denecroft again. If you’re thinking about volunteering, I would say just do it! You’ll feel better about yourself but most importantly, you’ll be helping people with disabilities to get the most out of life.”