What attracted you to volunteering for TWAM and to this role in particular?
I moved from a London based office business to retirement in South Wales and whilst I was helping out members of my wife's family practically, I still had time on my hands. I heard via a local church that a group of retirees were refurbishing tools to send to Africa so went to investigate and discovered TWAM. There I found a number of volunteers hard at work restoring broken rusted tools to usefulness and for a great cause. This convinced me straight away that this was really rewarding and a worthwhile use of my time.
What is a typical volunteering shift for you like?
I help on a Tuesday morning and my first task is to put on my overalls and find the manager to see what the priorities are that day. There may be sorting or cleaning and sharpening. My specific normal role though is dealing with hand drills of all types. I dismantle, clean and oil them, and then put them back together before a final test. Sometimes I will go out and collect tools from a member of the public which is always a great opportunity to explain what we do, where the tools may go and how they will help change the lives of many destitute people.
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
It gives me a sense of purpose and companionship with like minded men and women but the best thing for me is that in my small way I'm helping someone in the ‘developing world’ to receive equipment, training, starting a business and therefore putting bread on the families table. How good is that ?!
And what has been one of the highlights?
We often go by arrangement to major supermarkets for the day where we put on an exhibition of our ‘before and after’ tools. We talk to droves of people about what their tools can do for someone who has nothing
What would you say you have gained from this role?
Looking back in retrospect, I have felt fulfilled and regained my self worth. I Have a fresh purpose for my spare time and have gained encouragement that I have directly enabled someone else less fortunate to give themselves and their family a fresh future.
Why would you recommend volunteering with TWAM to other people?
It is inspiring as it benefits people directly who will be able to better themselves, become self supporting, and ultimately
improve the lives of others in their community. I can think of no better way to spend your spare time!