“I retired at 68. Everyone told me to play golf but I really didn’t want to play golf. Then a friend suggested I come along with him to Nightingale House as it would give me something to do. I visited on a beautiful August day; I stood on the terrace facing the stunning gardens and thought, yes I’d like to volunteer here. The site has a lot of history, everyone is so friendly and I’d much rather spend two days a week volunteering here than on the golf course!
Every Thursday morning I run a quiz on Ronson Household, it gives the Residents a social activity. On Tuesday I spend my time chatting to Residents on different Households. We talk about the milestones in their lives, their Bar Mitzvahs, their weddings, Jewish festivals, community activities. I think the Residents really enjoy talking about the cultural side of their past.
I see my life as a series of photos and I believe it is like that for the Residents. It is refreshing for them to reminisce and bring back memories that are important to them.
Volunteering has many benefits and not only for the Residents. I used to have a really complex, high powered job at IBM but I get so much more satisfaction during my two days here than I ever did in my previous profession. Volunteering at Nightingale gives me a sense of purpose, more than I could ever imagine.” – John, Volunteer at Nightingale House