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Spotlight on volunteering - THREE

Updated: Jun 6


In the third of our series highlighting Volunteers' Week, we spoke to Greenwich-based Anne Duncan. Anne works as a volunteer Community Food Champion on GCDA's monthly community meals programme which is run in partnership with Good Food in Greenwich and Royal Borough of Greenwich.


Anne (pictured with the orange bowl) started volunteering shortly after lockdown ended.


A former security guard, she had to self-isolate during the pandemic and found herself getting more and more depressed.


Anne takes up her story:


"I’m normally such an outgoing and proactive person, but during lockdown I lost myself," says Anne. "The pandemic really knocked the stuffing out of me and my confidence just disappeared. Afterwards, my daughter suggested volunteering as a way of re-engaging with day to day life. I have to admit I wasn't keen at first, but I started helping out at a Winter Warmer event that GCDA was involved in. At the end of that first day, I actually felt a bit better, I met some genuinely lovely people and I decided to go back and help again."


In the weeks and months that followed, Anne continued volunteering with GCDA's Community Meals project, which offers people a free freshly-prepared lunch every month . She began to look forward to her volunteering days, and little by little, she found her mental health improving.


"When I was a kid, I used to get butterflies before going back to school after the summer holidays as I was so excited. Now I feel just like that before heading off to volunteer! I never miss a day. It's become a real way of life for me and I love the fact that I have a really well-defined role to play. I enjoy it so much that I've even started up another voluntary project on my own housing estate."


Fay Livingstone manages the project

Fay Livingstone who manages the Community Meals project says.


“Anne believes that volunteering has been good for her, but to be honest, she gives so much to us. She's just brilliant and has become our hostess with the most-est! She makes everyone welcome and the chef always leaves feeling that the food is really appreciated. Anne has also encouraged other people to volunteer which is fantastic. We'd really miss her if she wasn't there."


It just goes to show that volunteering is never a one-way street. Everyone benefits.


If you're interested in volunteering on our Community Meals project, please contact Fayl@gcda.org.uk



Our next community meal is at Clockhouse Community Centre on 28th June. For details of all upcoming community meals please click here.




 



 

 

 

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