Pam – Age 70

“To anybody about to retire, I’d say ‘look around you and read all the information’. There’s so much going on and to really enjoy the community you need to get involved. I love being around people, talking in the street or on the bus. You can’t not love Brighton!”

I help out with the lunch club on a Thursday each week and help with the residents – help them come in, sit down, and then help a little bit in the kitchen. I don’t actually cook but I help in the kitchen and with clearing away. When it’s time for them to go, we make sure that they’ve got their jackets on, so that they’re ready to get into the taxi.

My favourite part of volunteering is actually being with the members of the group, like the residents of the Hangleton and Knoll.

If I had some words of wisdom for the younger generation, it would be to actually get involved with older people, because a lot of younger people actually don’t really appreciate what the older person goes through to try and do anything that the younger people take for granted.

I also help out with the 50+ trips. The idea is to get people that are isolated out onto trips and join in the community and meet people. I actually used to work in a nursing home, doing activities and that sort of thing, and I always said then that younger people from the community need to go into nursing homes, because a lot of them are scared of nursing homes, because they don’t know anything about it. A lot of the nursing homes are such nice places, as well as our community efforts.

I actually grew up in Hove, but I was gone for 35 years. I was so pleased to come back, because I love the community. I love being around the people, people that you just see every day and talk to in the street, talk to on the bus. Brighton itself – you can’t not love Brighton, because there’s something for every age group, even with these community groups, it’s all the way through, it’s every age.

If I was going to give advice to someone who was about to retire, it would be that the main thing is to look around and read all the information, especially Hangleton and Knoll. There is so much going on. You look at the sheets of what goes on and every day, there is something for all ages. To really enjoy the community, you need to get involved and come to places like this. We’ve got the 50+ event coming up in October and that takes care of everything. All the services are here, everything that’s available for the older person is all displayed. Older people need to go to those sort of places. There’s so many groups that people can go to, and then from those groups they can learn about everything else that’s going on.