Pauline volunteers for Carers in Bedfordshire, she helps to deliver Cognitive Stimulation Therapy sessions. Read all about her experience of volunteering for this services and what she gets up to at CST.
Real story: volunteer Pauline tells all
Who’d have thought that, 12 years into retirement, I would be going to work again on a Monday morning. The difference now is that there is no sinking feeling, just joyful anticipation. For almost a year now, I and two other volunteers have been helping at the CST course in Leighton Buzzard. It is an hour of laughter, banter and comradeship.
Every session has a main activity that differs each week and we take turns to lead this. We may stagger in, our arms laden with a shove halfpenny board, dart board, skittles and a parachute for a games session. Another week it’s a quiz - 20 sounds to identify and match with their everyday objects, 20 song titles to identify and sing along with or 20 famous faces to recognise. Sometimes we’ll have a craft activity and get stuck in, literally, with glue, paper and card. It can be quite a challenge to research and/or resource our own particular session, but it’s fun and we help each other out.
‘What’s in the News’ is a regular slot and that ensures that we scour the papers and tune in to the TV or radio to select items that will encourage strong opinions and comments. If we get fed up with politics and crime, we’ll have a week where only good or humorous news stories are allowed.
So, it must be said that there is quite a lot of work involved, but it is always absolutely worth it. Over time we’ve had the privilege of seeing people come alive , reveal a sense of humour and engage with each other as members of a close knit group. It’s a win/win situation for both participants and volunteers.