We’ve had many kind words from both volunteers and local companies for which we’ve successfully found placements.

I had enormous fun volunteering in my community as part of my Duke of Edinburgh awards. The best thing is that I’ve never had to do the volunteering alone; there’s always been positive people surrounding me, which is helpful when the work gets tough. And it’s good that it can be challenging, because the rewarding feeling you get when you finish is immeasurable. I really like the variety: I loved to get my hands dirty whilst tidying up the local churchyard; I really enjoyed working with ecstatic younger children on art projects at a local primary school and reorganising the bric a brac to perfection in Heathfield’s Oxfam shop. Definitely, the most rewarding part of my DofE journey.

Marc from Heathfield

Everyone likes to feel useful, at least I do, so a couple of years ago I contacted Ann Kenward, then Organiser at Heathfield Volunteer Centre. She put me in touch with The Association of Carers, who provide volunteers to give 24/7 carers a break. Once a week I sit with a disabled person while their carer goes out for 3 hours of free time. Volunteers are carefully matched with the family they visit, and are given lots of support by the Association. I’ve found this a very rewarding way to ‘give something back’.

www.associationofcarers.org.uk or tel.01424 722309

Pauline from Heathfield
I am a volunteer minibus driver for Age Concern Heathfield & District, and also a volunteer editor for the Wealden Talking Newspaper.
I moved to Broad Oak almost immediately after retiring from nearly 44 years working for the Kent Library Service in many roles, for the last 20 with responsibility for the purchase and management of stock in its 100+ libraries. As well as managing purchasing contracts for hard copy and ebooks both in Kent and for a national buying consortium, I also managed the internal van distribution service. In my spare time I enjoy reading all sorts of things I didn’t seem to have time for when I worked, walking for pleasure and to try to keep fit, good food, and listening to and playing music.

Having dabbled in various volunteering roles when I first retired, none of which felt quite right, I visited HDVC to explore other opportunities. I wanted to do something which would involve me in the community and ideally also allow me to drive, which I enjoy. HDVC suggested driving for Age Concern and I haven’t looked back! The role has enabled me to combine driving with meeting some lovely people, both fellow volunteers and clients, and I feel that I am genuinely contributing to the quality of life of our more elderly residents. The number of friends I have made in the local community and getting to know the area around Heathfield and East Sussex in general is an added bonus!

Ken from Broad Oak