PennyAnne is one of our lovely volunteers and she wonderfully took the time to tell us some of her story in volunteering at Connect Centre in Wells.
"I can't quite remember how I became involved with Connect. I think I may have helped with a Christmas dinner. I offered literacy skills and creative writing. I'm currently happy helping out on a Monday morning at the Breakfast Club 9:30am - 11am. I seem to have been making tea all my life, everywhere from London Welsh Rugby fixtures to Chilcompton Art Club exhibitions.
My background and experience is as a teacher, youth and community worker and writer. At the moment I am also involved in doing poetry and story session at Towood Residential home, working at Downside Abbey helping to sort out the archives, a U3A play reading group, the W.I and I'm an enthusiastic walker and swimmer.
I have worked with homeless projects in Wells and also I'm involved with the caring at Christmas initiative Julian Fellowship, Bristol. I have been homeless myself for short periods of time and feel 'shelter' for want of a better word, is of the utmost importance in order to lead a decent life. I appreciate how much Connect Centre does in terms of practical advice and outreach work across Mendip in places such as Wells, Glastonbury, Street and Frome.
I enjoy the Monday Morning breakfast club being able to help in a practical way making tea, baked beans on toast and putting out the breakfast cereal for those attending but also talking to the people who come in, providing a cheerful and welcoming environment. I feel it can be so demoralising and lonely being without a home, that just doing 'a bit' at Connect on a Monday is worthwhile, and I think Liz and myself work well together.
p.s. If we don't get a new toaster soon I'm flogging our present toaster on the Antiques Roadshow.
Monday Mornings Breakfast Club and many other services provided across Connect wouldn't happen without such wonderfully committed volunteers whom we class as local heroes. PennyAnne, thank you for participating in your local community in this way.