It’s Volunteer of the Month time again at YCC! This month, the Community Connections team nominated Phil Clarke – a very worthy candidate.
Phil started volunteering at the start of the pandemic, as he recognised how lucky he was to have a partner and not be isolated during lockdown. Phil decided to take action and help others who were not as fortunate. He has since linked with, and continues to provide support, to not one but THREE isolated and lonely individuals.
Phil spoke to Lucy Martin about his experience volunteering during the Covid-19 struggle, and beyond…
- Name: Phil Clarke
- Tell us a little about yourself? I am 75 years of age, having fully retired 3 years ago after 50 years as a Social Worker/Manager. I live in the Holme Valley with my partner Sue, and have four adult children who live across the country. I enjoy gardening, attending gigs, walking, and supporting Oldham Athletic (enjoying is sometimes debatable).
- How long have you been volunteering for the charity? I started volunteering during the height of the pandemic, in 2020.
- Please explain your volunteering role in a nutshell: I became a telephone befriender to a man with serious health problems who was isolated and scared. Since then, I have also become a telephone friend to two people, a male and a female, both of whom for quite different reasons are somewhat isolated. I intend to begin a direct contact friendship with one of them when the necessary agreements are in place.
- What made you want to start volunteering with YCC? My initial reasons for volunteering were acknowledging during lockdown that I had a partner – and therefore company – and we could go out together walking etc. I felt that I was in a position to be around for folk who did not have this in their lives.
- Sum up a typical day of volunteering for you? I am not sure that there is a typical day of volunteering for me, I telephone perhaps twice a week or so and have an enjoyable chat with both my friends.
- And finally, what advice would you give to people considering volunteering with YCC? Get involved if you wish to, seek advice if uncertain and get to know and build a relationship with whomever you are friends with. It’s great!
If you feel inspired to become a volunteer like Phil, or if you would like to get involved, please email [email protected]