Volunteer Story – Joe

I have lived in St Albans for over 30 years now and a lot has changed since then. My children are grown up and more people have moved into the area.

I’ve been volunteering at the St Albans Community Youth Club, the Tin Shed, for about 7 years now. Over those years, I have gotten to meet a lot of people and do some different things that help the community. There has always been so much happening here, kids and families coming for playgroup, lots of people coming to our op shop and other activities like singing and craft.

I like to work in the garden, tending to plants and keeping the area looking good. I have a big garden at home so that keeps me busy too. I often bring in chillies or extra produce I have grown to share with other people. If we have any food scraps from the centre, I take them home for my chickens. They are too old to lay eggs anymore, but I am attached to them and I don’t have the heart to get rid of them like my wife suggests! As an old farm boy, that’s quite a change for me!

I also like meeting and talking to people at the Tin Shed. You make friends with regular visitors and other volunteers too.

I think one of the most important things we do is help people with the food hampers we give out. We have always helped a lot of people with that and it makes me feel good to be able to do it for the community. If I wasn’t here meeting people, helping people I don’t know what I would do.

When you volunteer, get something as well as give something.

Volunteering fulfils me and has given me a community. It means I get out of the house and do something useful. I think if I stayed at home, I would drive my wife crazy!

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