Pete’s volunteering story

Pete and his wife, Jan, both volunteer regularly at Willow. Having retired from a job in insurance, Pete wanted to use his time to do something useful and keep his brain active. Pete shares his favourite things about volunteering at Willow, why he and Jan chose different volunteering roles, and what advice he would give to others looking at getting involved.

At Willow, you can see first-hand the difference that you’re making.


“I started volunteering at Willow back in June 2014. I had retired from my job in insurance and wanted to do something that made me feel useful but it was important I gave my time to a charity I felt an affinity with.

My daughter’s best friend worked in the Fundraising team so I knew about the work Willow do. I was also familiar with Willow Co-Founder, Bob Wilson, having been an Arsenal fan all my life so it felt like a good fit.

I work closely with the Community Fundraising team but my role has been varied over the years, especially during lockdown. Unfortunately, Willow couldn’t continue providing Special Days during that time so most of my efforts were focused on supporting the Special Days team. I spent a lot of time organising refunds or rebooking experiences that hadn’t gone ahead.

Nowadays, I come into the Willow offices every Tuesday while my wife Jan volunteers at the charity shop in Welwyn Garden City. It’s great to be involved, go out to events and see where donations go. One thing that hits you is meeting and hearing the stories of our beneficiaries. It really reinforces why we do what we do.”

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