Voluntary Management Committee, Staff and Volunteers
The Day Centre is managed by a voluntary Management Committee
It is staffed by a Manager, a Support Services Co-Ordinator, a Senior Care Worker, Care Workers, an Administrator, Cooks, and Drivers
There is a team of over 40 dedicated volunteers who assist on a rota basis, and without the help of the volunteers much of the work could not continue.
Here are some of our volunteers talking about the Day Centre
This is Kitty speaking in February 2014
I have the time now, with the children all grown up. I helped with the lifeboat shop and I do an odd day in Earth Matters shop. I’ve been volunteering at the Day Centre for over a year now. It’s a great team, nice people, nice members and I like just putting a little back into the community. I’m the bus passenger assistant on a Monday afternoon. Usually a single trip, but may become a double trip as more will be using the bus on a Monday.
I would recommend volunteering at the Day Centre and its not a huge commitment. I look forward to a Monday afternoon, getting out and about, meeting the staff and meeting the members. They have all got so much to offer. I also do outings on the bus during the day, to places like Merryhatton Garden Centre. I know a few of the other volunteers who do other days, and we all enjoy it. It’s a tremendous service for the old folk, I don’t think there is anywhere like it. The staff are great and are so patient.
I decided to volunteer because I knew one of the staff, and she said I would be very welcome to help, so I came along and agreed what I could do.
This is David speaking in February 2014
An interesting question that is often asked is why I volunteer here and how I must be very caring and sharing with my time. The interesting answer is more complicated. To start with I needed to find a place to deal with the loss of my mother and the issues I had with her dementia. This seemed like a good place to start, and I picked North Berwick because it was the first place that I could get to volunteer. However several things became quickly apparent.
First was the real care and devotion of the staff and other volunteers, then there was the life and sparkle of the folk that turned up on the Thursdays for the entertainment. This was a vibrant place with people that had an interest in what I had to offer.. normally a wrong-footed dance or a terrible joke and even my archaeology job.. but more importantly I genuinely loved being here and listening and chatting about old times and new, sitting round in a huddle talking as easily about the farming practices of the 50s and then the onto the latest news on flooding.
Where I wanted to dance and sing and be happy, as I was in the company of people who I wanted to dance and sing and be happy with. The idea that I am a volunteer now is almost amusing, as I just feel I am part of something like a big family! Carol, Christine and the others all work tirelessly… and to my end, I am grateful to be a small part of this. Favourite parts: Dancing the day centre circle, singing carols out of tune, taking trips and chatting away like old friends. This is not volunteering! This is a lifestyle!
Here is Maisie speaking in October 2013
"I have my reasons for being here, it helps me a lot being here. It helps other people but also me as a volunteer. I like speaking to people, this is my longest day on a Wednesday 11am to 3.30, I just come in for the entertainment part on a Thursday afternoon and help with the teas and that is me for the week.
I came here in 2007, I had lost my husband and it was only a few months later that I came here. At first I came to the door but did not come in. Then I had been in the church and it was a lovely day, and I went to the Day Centre, and a lady was sitting outside and she said, take a seat and we chatted and then I decided to go in and Carol chatted to me.
Carol put me beside Elizabeth, who was in a wheelchair, the first day, and then I came in the next week and sat with Elizabeth who was the only person I knew then. I said to Elizabeth I’ll have to find something to do, and she said they need volunteers, and that’s how I came. Elizabeth shouted over to Carol to say Maisie would like to be a volunteer, and Carol said that would be lovely. Carol asked how old I was, and I thought, oh I said, I’m very doubtful that you would take me in, as I was 80. Carol said, that’s no problem, and we will start you off 1 hour a week, but an hour was not enough for me. This is my life saver, and going out with friends on a Saturday, and I go to the Beacon on a Thursday."
Another of our Volunteers is Mary. Here are Mary's thoughts on being a Volunteer
"I really look forward to the days that I help at the Day Centre. I have met so many lovely people there and wish to thank everyone for their valued friendship. I am in the Centre every Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and sometimes more often. We are very lucky to have this Centre in North Berwick. It is a wonderful place and the staff are all so kind and helpful and caring.
I like to talk to many people there and enjoy helping to prepare and serve refreshments and to wash up afterwards.It is satisfying to feel useful. I enjoy playing dominoes with the men and listening to the many musicians who come to entertain us. I have had fun making little knitted hats and running the book stall at coffee mornings. In past years I helped with transport, and compiled quizzes and accompanied groups on outings.
I have been a member of the Management Committee since the Centre opened. Before that, I was a Volunteer helper at the "Four Seasons Club" from when it started in 1998 when my husband died. This group met in the Community Centre but came to the Day Centre when this was opened.
The Day Centre Management Committee meets once a month to discuss the running of the Centre, finances and strategies. I am almost 85 now and hope I can continue to help for many more years."
We Need More Volunteers!
In addition to the permanent staff at the Day Centre, we also rely on volunteers to help at the Day Centre. We are currently looking for, and need, additional new volunteers. There are many things you can do to help at the Day Centre such as chatting to and befriending our members, or helping serve cups of tea and coffee, and clearing up afterwards. Or you may prefer to help in the kitchen, or perhaps be a ‘Passenger Assistant’ on the Day Centre bus. We also need people to assist with short walks in the area when the weather is good.
How do I find out more?
Or arrange to have a chat with one of our staff. The Day Centre is also open between 10am and 4pm to anyone who wants to pop in for a cuppa, so you can come in and see for yourself!
Here are just some of the volunteers and staff, who help to run the Day Centre