#HCAVolunteers – Gloria at Millman Street
Gloria has recently celebrated her 80th birthday and volunteers at Millman Street Community Centre for two days a week. Prior to retiring she had a long career in nursing and social work. She tells us why she feels part of the family and why Millman Street is a special place to be.
“I live locally and I come here to volunteer two days a week, it gets me out of the house and keeps me active. I was a social worker and nurse before and I have always enjoyed working with older people. I assist the staff to free them up so they can do their paperwork and caring duties whilst I do practical stuff, such as making the teas and coffee and helping to serve the lunches.
Some of the members (like all of us!) have an ‘off day’ and are not so keen on doing an activity, I like to use friendly encouragement to persuade them to get involved. It’s good to see the enjoyment they get out of it afterwards.
I have lived in this area for almost 50 years but worked all over London. I spend the rest of my week mainly looking after my allotment in Waltham Forest. I also go to Caribbean most years and my daughter treated me to a stay in the Hilton for my recent 80 Birthday out there.
Millman Street is special as it is here for everybody, it supports older people who would be alone if they were not here. Having company and having people to talk to make it a lovely place to be. It has a free flow which fits in for different schedules – sometimes people just pop in for a meal and for our regular members it’s part of their daily life.
My volunteer duties range from quiz master, tea maker, knitting helper and washer-upper! I enjoy getting involved with the activities too. In our knitting group, a member brought in a scarf that felt like it was about 2 miles long. We shortened it for him and he gave a donation to the Centre. My recent favourite activity was during our drama and movement class, we filmed us performing ‘Under Milk Wood’ by Dylan Thomas – with all the effects added and it looked great.
It’s lovely being here, it is bright and cheery. I feel part of the family.”