Margaret Wilson still volunteers at the ExtraCare charity shop in Coventry where she started working more than 20 years ago.
She has spent years helping to raise valuable income for ExtraCare. And now at 78 she is planning to move into the charity’s Earlsdon Park Retirement Village.
‘I knew how good ExtraCare was and I knew what their care was like,’ she says. ‘I had been to a village and I liked what I saw. I was absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do.’
Margaret held roles as Deputy Manager and Manager at the shop in Corporation Street. She gave up work when she was 75, had three months off and went back as a volunteer. She now volunteers two mornings a week pricing the garments in the stockroom.
‘It gives me a reason to get up and go out,’ she says. ‘You see your friends, it’s company and you feel useful.’
Margaret, a mother of three and now a widow, is moving into a second floor apartment at Earlsdon Park Village. Her cats Hugo and Boss are going with her.
‘Moving into a retirement village means you are not on your own, you have your own apartment but there are so many things you can do. You know that if you need to be looked after you will be,’ she says.
‘I had my parents living with me for twenty five years and I looked after them and they became very frail. My mother had to go into a residential home because she had Alzheimer’s and we couldn’t cope with her at home. I didn’t want my children to go through what I went through looking after my parents; I thought this was the ideal situation. It gave the children peace of mind, it also gave me peace of mind that they hadn’t got to look after me.’
Margaret is looking forward to enjoying life at Earlsdon Park Village, to going the gym and joining in with arts and crafts.
She also plans to volunteer at the village. ExtraCare relies on the support of thousands of volunteers who make a real difference. They help out on reception, in village coffee shops, befriend residents seeking company and use their skills to help others.
Margaret has already helped out in interviews for staff at Earlsdon Park Village.
‘I think I’d like to befriend people who are on their own the same as I am,’ she says.
Find out more about Earlsdon Park Village at www.earlsdonparkvillage.co.uk