Shirley Stratton moved to Shenley Wood Village with her husband Michael in April 2012, and started volunteering almost immediately. Now Lauren McMillan, the Village Activities Facilitator, says she doesn’t know what she’d do without her!
“I got started by accident,” Shirley says. “I didn’t even know much about volunteering when I moved in, but I’ve a friend, Josie, who lives near us and was a volunteer at Lovat Fields Village. She suggested I try it.
“I couldn’t do the café or shop as I can’t stand for too long, so I started off on reception. I used to help the receptionist, and then Lauren asked me to do bits and pieces for her.
“Now I do anything and everything!”
As well as blowing up balloons and generally lending a hand at events, Shirley helps with the volunteer applications and Friends registrations for the Village – a big job as there are around 130 volunteers at Shenley Wood!
She also helps organises the Spring and Christmas Fairs, and, last Christmas morning she spent volunteering at a coffee morning for residents who didn’t have anything planned with family. Everyone had a great time, including Shirley.
“I love it,” she says.
Shirley helps Lauren three afternoons a week. She’s based in the Village admin office and even has her own ExtraCare email address.
Lauren says: “We just work really well together. We’ve become quite in tune with each other, and people forget she’s not a member of staff!”
Picture: Lauren with Shirley.