Jane, a retired office worker, great grandmother and a volunteer.
Jane Morris is a retired office worker, mother to twin daughters, has three grandchildren and one great grandchild. She volunteers with Association of Carers. She shared her story with Eastbourne Volunteers.
Why did you start volunteering?
Jane would have been married to Brian for a whopping 48 years, had he not sadly passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in 2010. Brian managed his illness well until the final year, when Jane became his full time Carer. She says, “It was emotionally hard for both of us, he hated it. We both got depressed at the end.” Then the Association of Carers got involved and things changed for the better. A volunteer started to sit with Brian once a week for 3 hours. Jane says they got on all right together and “It gave me a bit of free time, a nice break to get away.” But in 2010 the worst happened, and Brian passed away. “I had lost him and felt empty and lost myself. I still feel guilty after all these years.”
What happened next?
After about a year Jane decided it was time to fill that emptiness with something positive. Someone suggested to her that she become a volunteer herself. She thought to herself “I could spare 3 hours a week to give someone else a break. I enjoy it, I do no personal care. I normally make them a cup of tea, we just talk, or reminisce over photos. I can associate with most people being older myself!”. She adds “I feel pleased I can give something back and hope I can give someone else a break. I have a driver as I don’t like driving in the winter. I wouldn’t do it if I had to drive.”
Jane’s message to anyone reading this is “If you have a few spare hours, do consider volunteering, it’s really worthwhile.”
If like Jane, you would like to volunteer for the Association of Carers, please get in touch with them. Apart from the Befriending with Respite that Jane does, you could give computer help at home, do the odd sit with someone while the Carer has a medical appointment, give someone telephone support, and more.
Or is there is an organisation that played an important role in your life or the life of your family? You can contact them directly and explore how to get involved.