In tribute to His Majesty The King’s public service, The Big Help out has been launched to encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend.
As part of this event we are highlighting some of our own wonderful volunteers and volunteer opportunities. The below has been written by Jenny Clough, volunteer at Ripon Museum Trust.
“Now there’s a thing!
My forty year odd teaching career came to an abrupt end at the beginning of the first Covid lockdown as I had vulnerable family and I had to support them, as did everyone else and we all ‘cracked on’.
It was a pleasant Spring and to be honest it was a much needed respite to sit in the garden when not supporting my lovely family… and adjust to the new normal! Still no hugs or meeting up with folk but this seemed so necessary.
Lockdown 2 and I was still terrified of this dreadful virus and then everything seemed to blend into 1 and I lost track of time!
By lockdown 3 I knew I had to get out again and I remembered taking school groups to the Workhouse and how much I had loved giving my pupils the first hand experience of life in the workhouse and h0w we compared how life has changed since then (I always said I would volunteer when I retired and this seemed the appropriate time).
I was wary and so hesitant at first just to meet up with folk again but I can honestly say it really has been a new beginning for me.
I have met so many people with such varied backgrounds, so many characters and I have met so many new friends. I have ‘belly laughed’ and stepped out of my comfort zone on so many occasions and the few things I have done in the last 2 years include the following:
Working with the learning team
Front of House
A member of the theatre group working with Fell-Foss Theatre Company
Using the Workhouse gardens to produce herbal creams and cures
Grafting heritage apple trees
Planting heritage bulbs for a Victorian garden
Slow stitching is my next venture…
Never too old to learn you know :)”