Ruth finds a new use for her legal expertise
Full disclosure - this week's marvellous Heydayer is my remarkable mum, Ruth. When you know that she only retired as a lawyer at the end of last year at the age of 85, and now, amongst many other things, volunteers, two days a week, I hope you'll agree she more than qualifies for inclusion.
"When I finally retired, by which time I was working part time, I decided to volunteer on the days when I used to go to the office. Partly to do something constructive with my time, but also in order to motivate myself and give structure to my week the way it had had when I was working.
I chose to volunteer at my local hospital because I thought I might like to be able to give something a bit different to them. There are 500 volunteers [it’s a big teaching hospital] and I’d be very surprised if they could run everything without them because they’re involved in everything.
I wanted to sit behind a reception desk. Well, that hasn't happened!
Initially I helped around the wards, giving out teas and coffees and chatting to the patients, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I did that whilst I was waiting for a new department in the hospital called The Hub to open, because I had been selected as one of the people to help run it. It’s a separate area that has been constructed to help people with long term illnesses. The volunteers just chat to the patients and there are experts in things like benefits and welfare that they can make appointments to see.
What I hadn’t intended was that I would be helping with some of my expertise about law. But I’ve started doing talks, not just to the volunteers, but to anybody on the staff who wants to know about powers of attorney, wills and trusts.
Working at the hospital hasn’t been what I expected, because what I originally asked for was to be on a reception desk where I didn’t have to walk too much. Well, that hasn’t happened! Doing this work gives me an incentive to get up and move, but also, hopefully to help other people in a constructive way."
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