Mick is a retired, Print Production Manager for M&S and has been volunteering for C360 since March 2020.

“I have always wanted to give something back to my local community, and initially I worked for the Berechurch Ward through my local councillor, Dave Harris.

By doing my local volunteering with Dave Harris for the elderly and vulnerable, I was put in touch with C360.

During the past year I have been working from the main office in Winsley’s House, Colchester, making courtesy calls to people seeking to ensure they were feeling safe and well, and of course if they needed any help at all.

I then did various things like leaflet drops in several areas of the town, to inform people of the services available from C360. I also did some food parcel deliveries to several areas of the town, even delivering BPM’s to various GP Surgeries.

Since January 2021, I have been at the Primary Care Vaccination, usually working 3, sometimes 4, mornings a week. My main role has been on the car park barriers “meeting & greeting” people, directing them to the car park, asking them to wait until their appointment time and then follow the “pink hi-vis jackets” to the clinic. This usually gets a laugh!

It has been great to meet new people (and make friends) like the other volunteers. It has been quite stimulating and has got the “grey cells” working again after being in lockdown.

However, to see the joy from people’s faces when you have managed to help “make their day” by doing something quite simple like picking up a wheelchair for them to help get around, making sure they are well, and generally trying to make them relaxed if they are feeling slightly anxious is extremely rewarding.

To interact with most people is great, especially when you get a positive reaction back from them. I have been told I should have been on stage several times, as I do love a joke when appropriate!

What advice would you give to a new volunteer or someone thinking about volunteering? It doesn’t matter how little or small the job is, if you want to help people out and get an emotional reward then do give it a try. You can be as quiet or as gregarious as you like, just helping reaps the rich rewards that money cannot buy.