Jonathan’s volunteering story
"Before I took early retirement my professional expertise was managing international IT projects in a Banking environment. Having started my career in banking in New York I switched to IT when I came back to the UK, initially concentrating on managing customer relations with select customers for a software company. I then specialised in project management as the need for this expertise became a must in that sector. I managed significant customer customisations and global merger projects and got a real kick from the intensity of these highly time critical projects.
"I’ve retired from that demanding lifestyle and can now finally focus on what I want to do. I have a list as long as your arm but as a continuous activity I wanted to contribute in some way to the health service. One of my volunteer roles is at the Pembridge Hospice where I help on the in-patient unit. I do what I can to support the staff to provide better care or improve the experience for the patient, their family or visitors. It is small things like serving meals, a spot of gardening, working at the reception, tidying up the visitors area – but it all gives me a sense of satisfaction. It is a small and close team and, best of all, I feel part of it.
"I regularly work one morning a week at Pembridge and I am also getting involved in some fund raising activities and happy to help out on special events where I can. The one thing I have found with retirement is that time is still just as rare as it ever was. Not what I was expecting.
"Volunteering gives me immense personal pleasure. If I feel I made an improvement to another person’s life that is enough for me. Getting positive feedback is a welcome bonus."