Ina first volunteered within our day care service in October 2011.
Here's Ina's story:
I was a regular attender at Club Carib and a member of the entertainment committee, organising events for the members.
I retired and heard that the centre wanted volunteers, so I put myself forward as, having retired I had a lot of time. I get a lot out of it learning from the seniors understanding their backgrounds. I like to talk laugh and sing with them. The people are very nice and very friendly, and it gets me out the house, where I would be at home doing nothing. I have learned about the clients previous lives in the Caribbean and how similar it was to mine. As a volunteer I have completed various courses in Food Hygiene and Health & Safety and safeguarding. I have also developed my planning skills organising trips and domino competitions.
Hello I’m Sonia Moulton and I give back to good causes by volunteering.
My mother Themia used to come to the centre and they looked after her in the day care service for many years which allowed me to work. At home I was mom's main career as well as being a professional care assistant. When mom died in 2007 she was 2 months short of her 102nd birthday I wanted to give something back so I decided to give the centre some of my time.
Being a volunteer relieved the boredom of being in the house as I had to stop work due to an injury. It was at the centre that I met Ina. She encouraged me to join the Entertainment Committee where I have enjoyed meeting lots of new friends, taking part and organizing activities. I have also been able to complete training courses in areas such as health and safety and food hygiene. Being a volunteer makes me feel good, especially when I am able to help others. I also pay visits to people who used to come to the centre but are now house bound. For a good few years I was a member of the choir who used to perform at events and at funerals where we sang Caribbean choruses and hymns. I also volunteered in the Day Care service on a Monday and Wednesday initially but after 2 years had to cut down to Wednesdays only but I use the other day to do home visits or support the entertainment committee.
We organise the black history month cultural evening and Jamaican Independence celebration as well as the Christmas and New Years parties and many more events throughout the year. I really enjoy coming here as I’m well treated by the staff and the clients appreciate my support. I call the bingo, help clients do the chair-based exercise and regularly bless the table or read a scripture before our meal.
Maud is one of our most loyal and longstanding members and volunteers, read her story...
My name is Maud and I first went to the centre as a member of Club Carib. I was 59 years old when me and my late husband Rupert decided to become members; that was over 20 years ago.
I was born in St Catherine – Jamaica and came to the UK IN 1964 where I settled in Dudley, West Midlands and had my children. I worked as an Auxiliary Nurse in Brierley Hill, Burton Road Hospital and New Cross Hospital.
Being a member of Club Carib for some time and being a very active person, one of the founder members asked me if I would like to offer some support to the clients as a volunteer in the day care services. I was introduced to one of the Managers and taken on as a volunteer working 2 days a week; and I have never looked back since.
I have volunteered for many years and support the clients by helping them to settle when they arrive, help with their personal care, serve meals, interact and take part in games, discussions and exercise and love to befriend and talk to other clients, volunteers and staff. I was also a member of the Day Care Choir where we would sing at the centre and be invited to attend other events such as funerals etc. One of my roles at the centre is as the Bingo Caller, which I looked forward to after lunch and always enjoyed doing.
Later, my late husband Rupert attended the centre where he became a client in day care as well as a permanent domino player. It was nice that we would both attend together and was able to spend so much time with each other. Sadly, Rupert passed away and for a while I stop going to the centre, but I was determined to go back as I needed to get out of the house plus I missed it so much.
I enjoy coming to the centre a lot and I absolutely love the place. I have not one bad word to say about it and over the years it has been good to me and Rupert. When I am out and about, people I know would often ask me if I still go to the centre, and I say yes of course.
I am one of the most loyal attenders and I am happy to be part of the Centre where I have so many memories and have made some great friends.
Geraldine (know as Gee) is one of our recent volunteers who started on 29th February 2021.
Geraldine previously worked at George Salter Academy as a cleaner and retired after 33 years. In her spare time she loved Gardening, Cooking and providing Catering support at functions, unfortunately, this had stopped due to Covid restrictions.
After a few months of being at home she was asked if she would be interested in doing some voluntary work at the West Bromwich African Caribbean Resource Centre. Gee was keen to offer her services and within a few months of retiring became one of our volunteers working 2 days a week in our Health & Wellbeing Division. Gee role is working directly with our senior day care clients, interacting with them to do various activities, supporting kitchen staff in serving meals, setting tables and clearing up, feeding clients when necessary, playing games/dominoes, supporting other volunteers and much more.
Gee says she loves volunteering here and enjoys is very much, especially working with the clients, meeting new people and intereacting with them and hopes to work as a volunteer long term.
Gee has 4 children, 10 Grand children, another due in September, and 6 Great grand children.
Look out for more of our volunteer profiles in the next few weeks.