Volunteer Story (30) - John

John joined up as a volunteer through our Active Inclusion Project and through it has succeeded in finding a rewarding volunteering opportunity that increases his wellbeing and keeps him integrated with his community, as he had been during his years as a Police Constable:

“I served as a constable in the North Wales Police for 30 years and retired from the Force in June of 2001.  I continued working for the police as a civilian driving instructor. A job I was doing for the last 10 years of my service as a police officer.  I continued in this capacity for a further 7 years, until I resigned in August of 2008 because I had been offered a position within the Abu Dhabi Police in the United Arab Emirates training some of their Traffic officers to become driving instructors within the Force, setting up a driving school from scratch as previously there had been no driver training carried out, even though they were driving high powered cars, and officers and civilians within the emirate were being killed and seriously injured.

I stayed in this employment for the duration of my 4 year contract, and returned to the UK in November 2012.

After returning to the UK I took up part time employment as a delivery driver for a local chemist, delivering medicines to customer’s homes and to nursing homes in Denbigh and the surrounding area.  I continued in this capacity until June 2017, when I reached the age of 65 and was able to receive my state pension.

After retiring, I became bored and started to feel isolated as I missed the company of my colleagues and the banter I used to have with my regular customers.  Because of these feelings of isolation, and a feeling of being left on the shelf after doing skilled and satisfying work throughout my working life, I decided to contact the DVSC after seeing a flyer in a local shop.  I spoke to [Active Inclusion Project Support Worker] Louisa Brown, who organised a meeting and we discussed various options available to me.

One of the options we discussed was volunteering at the Denbigh Men’s Shed, based at Trefeirian in Love Lane, Denbigh, which is a charity set up to help people like myself, and people who have suffered mental health issues in their lives, helping them to integrate more fully within their community. When I visited the shed I was warmly received and soon became involved in the administrative side of the charity, in particular assisting the treasurer and designing a spreadsheet to keep a record of the income and outlay of the charity through the financial year.  I have also become a trustee with the organisation to assist with the running and growth of the charity locally.

I find that this has given me a feeling of worth, which was missing in my life since retirement, and of course I have made new friends since joining the organisation which makes me feel less isolated, which before I joined was starting to be come a problem.  I am grateful to DVSC and in particular Louisa, for pointing me in this direction, thereby improving my quality of life.”

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