Our volunteer in the spotlight this month is Kerry Keenan. Kerry has been volunteering with Mayfair for the last 4 years. Before that, you might have met her at Church Stretton Dental Practice, where she was a dental nurse for 33 years or seen her shimmying in Angela’s belly dancing group, at performances around the county.
‘I’d always been aware of Mayfair but when I started to wind down work a bit, I offered to do some volunteering. When I first went into see Angela [who was the volunteer coordinator at the time] she asked me what things I would like to do and I said “I don’t really mind, but the only thing I’m not really keen on is admin. I just fancy doing something more practical.”
The first area I helped in was the kitchen. I went in for a training session and then a place was available on a Thursday to do the washing up and serve teas and coffees from the hatch. Later, somebody pulled out of helping in the creche one Friday and I was asked “Would you like to do it?” and I said “Yeah, I don’t mind, I’ll give it a go.” I ended up doing it regularly. So Thursday I was in in the kitchen and Friday I was in the creche.
They’re both very practical and I like that. And of course it’s nice that you’re in little teams. You get to know people and I enjoy meeting all the regular diners. I absolutely love working with the tots. It’s quite a responsibility but it’s lovely and they do make me laugh.
I just like to help out as and when I can, and then of course lockdown came, and I became one of the telephone befrienders, so I ring a lady every week for a quick chat. I’m used to dealing with nervous people from the dental practice, so I’m quite good at talking and listening.
It was great when Mayfair got in touch to say “Are you ok to come back again to help?” I was over the moon, because I did miss it an awful lot, I missed the people. Volunteering is a good opportunity to have a go at things you maybe wouldn’t normally think of doing. It gets you out of the house, and you get to know people. You try and help a bit. And have fun. Mayfair’s a nice, friendly place. Everybody’s nice and I like being there and helping. It just comes down to that.’