Volunteering is good for you!
Earlier this month I was honoured to be asked to present awards at the Arthur Rank Hospice which is celebrating a year in its new purpose built £10m centre at Shelford Bottom. There is a link with the district council, in that this was built on Green Belt land, so had to be approved by the council. but, as I said to people at the event, the benefit to society of this hospice surely outweighs the giving up of some green belt. I have another connection, further back, in that I worked with the dynamic and energetic Lynn Morgan about 15 years ago and I can think of no better person to make something good happen.
Lynn showed me round the hospice and then it was time to recognise the hard work the many volunteers put in to help the day to day running of the hospice, as well as helping with fund-raising. The thing that struck me was that, while a hospice is a place where deeply sad events take place, it is also somewhere where people can be at their best - brave, caring, thoughtful. I spoke to some of the people there at the celebration, some of whom had been helping out in different ways for over 20 years.
Yesterday I met up with a Burma Star veteran (ie a WWII soldier who fought in the "forgotten" campaign in the jungle swamps and forests of Burma against the Japanese) and we talked about the fundraising that he has done over many years, and the help that he in turn has had from Duxford village.
Everyone leads busy lives, and it is important to recognise how valuable volunteering is, whether helping run a scout group or clearing up a churchyard or being a school governor or whatever. Its the glue that keeps communities together.