Richard – Age 77

“Volunteering has certainly enriched my retirement. It helped me deal with my wife’s death and helping people has kept me feeling a lot younger. I now wake up each morning looking forward to what that day has in store!”

Since I’ve been doing this, I think it’s made me – this is selfish a little bit – it’s made me feel a lot younger, just helping people. Really, I think getting to know people in more depth than I had before, just by listening to their stories and thinking ‘Ah, my life wasn’t so bad’. Some people’s are not good but every little bit you can do is fine. I just like that and I’m learning as well. It’s not all…I’m learning and enjoying it very much.

If I was to give some advice to a young person, starting out in the world of work, it would be – treat the people you work with almost like your family. It sounds a bit weak. If you’re working with people, just make an effort and get to know a little bit about their lives outside. You’ll be surprised what that leads to, and the friends you make can exist forever.

I would just say to people who are about to retire – really think about being a volunteer. It’s certainly enriched my life. It’s certainly helped me, too, in dealing with my wife’s death. I wake up every day thinking ‘Hmm… what’s going to happen?’ rather than ‘I’ve got to do this’. ‘What’s going to happen?’ That’s what I think.