Derek’s volunteering story

Derek has been volunteering with Willow for nearly 15 years. Every Thursday, Derek heads to the Willow office in Welwyn Garden City, where he enjoys spending time with the team, tea, cake, and the joy of witnessing the life-changing impact Willow has on its beneficiaries.

“I’m very happy and proud to count myself amongst the Willow family.’’

‘’My name is Derek and I’ve been a volunteer at Willow for almost 15 years.  I mainly work in the office helping the Supporter Fundraising Team, but occasionally I help out at some of the Willow events.

I was lucky enough to retire at the age of 60 from my job in the Scientific Civil Service and, having had a variety of roles in my career, felt as if I could put some of my skills to other uses in a very different environment.  Since retirement I have also developed a range of other interests – learning French, attending various talks/lectures and furthering my long-term passion, the history of the First World War.

I first heard about Willow just after it started life.  I was asked to sponsor someone who was running the London Marathon.  He said I could donate part of my sponsorship to a charity of my choice and I happened across Willow.  A little more research soon revealed that it ticked a number of ‘my boxes’ – small, local to me and had a close link to ‘my football team’ (I’m an Arsenal season ticket holder!).  I suppose you’d say ‘the rest is history’.

I really enjoy going to the office every Thursday; the people are very friendly – they keep me well supplied with mugs of tea and there is often cake!  You immediately see and feel that Willow is providing something for ‘real people’ for whom a Special Day really is very special.  And if any greater motivation is required, hearing beneficiaries speak about the impact that Willow has had on them and their family – as we do each year at the Carol Concert – certainly provides it. I’m very happy and proud to count myself amongst the Willow family.’’

Feeling inspired by Derek’s story? Find out more about our volunteering opportunities.