Trevor Mills has a lot to be proud of. As well as having just celebrated his 80th birthday he is now celebrating an amazing 25 years of volunteering at the Riding for the Disabled Centre, Gaddesden Place. With the help of volunteers this centre gives over 100 children and adults with special needs and disabilities the opportunity to ride and have fun.
Trevor took redundancy and early retirement at the age of 55. With time on his hands he decided to try volunteering. He visited the Volunteer Centre, which at that time was in the Old Town, and at their suggestion started with Meals on Wheels which he did until Herts County Council took over.
It was then, as a result of a further visit to the Volunteer Centre, that he met Trina Hall who ran the riding school and Riding for the Disabled (RDA). After talking to Trina, he decided to volunteer for RDA. Although he had no knowledge of horses or disabilities he felt that this would be a challenge that he would enjoy.
He started with just one session a week but this quickly became two. His various roles at the centre have included stewarding at competitions, acting as a groom and carriage driving. It was the carriage driving that really caught his interest and, after Trina had taught him the basics of driving, Trevor became so hooked that he even bought his own pony and carriage!
He was persuaded to join the Committee and has held the roles of both Treasurer and Chairman. Whilst there he has seen Gaddesden Place change from a branch of the national RDA to a separate charity and more recently to a limited company.
Although he is now 80 Trevor is still helping 3 or 4 times a week and is obviously much appreciated. The Chairman, Cathy Bolshaw said “We have had many wonderful volunteers who have come to us via the Volunteer Centre over the years and Trevor is a shining example…and the longest serving! I look forward to welcoming many more in the future”
If you would like to follow in Trevor’s footsteps and become a volunteer at RDA you can either come and talk to us or visit their website www.gaddesdenplacerda.org.uk
Volunteers’ Week, which took place at the start of June, celebrated the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It is run by NCVO and provides organisations all around the nation to celebrate their volunteers and make it known that all of their help is appreciated.
We kick started Volunteers’ Week with the Excellence in Volunteer Management Conference and Awards. These awards are considered to be very special, due to the fact that nominations can only be made by volunteers. Hence, the idea is to champion organisations who demonstrate quality in their volunteer management. All nominees for the awards were invited to join us at the Hertfordshire Volunteer Centres Annual Volunteering Conference hosted by Beales Hotel Hatfield on the 1st of June, where the trophy was presented to the winner, Countryside Management Service.
On the 3rd of June we joined forces with Community Action Dacorum, to host a mini volunteer’s roadshow, which generated a lot of interest and was an overall success. The roadshow, not only allowed us to gain an insight into why people volunteer, but we were also able to find out why it is that some people don’t volunteer, and how we can get them motivated to try and do so in the future.
We then hosted a Volunteers Lunch with Community Action Dacorum and The Box Moor Trust. This gave us the opportunity to say thank you for the contribution that our volunteers have made to all respective organisations. This event was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Dacorum Council Bob Mclean and his wife who gave thanks for the contribution that volunteers make. The local community group Movie Makers also contributed to the event by producing a short film with testimonials of some of our volunteers, which will soon be uploaded to our YouTube page.
Finally, our Chief Executive Officer, Richard Pitts, was invited and delivered a presentation about the value of Volunteering and the contribution that volunteers make at the Society of Oddfellows. This included the importance of rewarding and recognising the volunteers and effective volunteer management.
Overall, Volunteers’ Week was a success and we hope you had as much fun as we did!
Help Community Action Dacorum deliver its Community Car service by volunteering for a few hours on a Tuesday to take telephone bookings and contact drivers. Call or email Deborah to find out more on 01442 253935/ firstname.lastname@example.org