We caught up with call companion coordinator Gaby about volunteering for Re-engage and what makes her get out of bed every morning. As a call companion coordinator, it’s Gaby’s job to ensure that the six older people in her group receive regular phone calls from Re-engage volunteers. She is always the first point of call, should there be any issues over matching or if anything goes wrong.
Gaby has lived in London for almost 40 years and she loves to take advantage of the theatres, concert halls, museums, galleries and everything that makes London a vibrant and multicultural capital. She belongs to an amateur theatre group herself and performs twice a year. She’s also a keen cyclist and, as a high-altitude walker, she has climbed to Everest Basecamp, Cotopaxi in Ecuador and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Having always worked in the travel and tourism sector, today she works for a boutique Travel Merger and Acquisition firm. She told us: “It sounds grand, but it really isn’t!’.
Why did you decide to volunteer for Re-engage?
Over the years I raised a lot of money for various charities by running marathons, half marathons and sportive cycling events. A while ago, I decided I wanted to do something more practical and to somehow be closer to the people I wanted to help. When a friend of mine mentioned Re-engage and the kind of work that the charity does, I decided it was just what I was looking for. I volunteer also for Age UK.
What's the best thing about being a volunteer for Re-engage?
I love establishing a relationship with the older people in our group; hearing their stories and how much they appreciated the regular calls.
Do you have a favourite saying or quote that you live by?
‘It is all in your mind’.
The mind is unbelievably powerful and can make ourselves believe anything we want to believe, with both good and bad consequences.
What makes you get out of bed every morning?
The excitement that every day brings…
What do would you say to anyone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer?
Do it for the right reason - it’s very satisfying.
Age Concern Crosby
Age Concern Crosby, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, has recently become part of Re-engage. As part of Re-engage, Age Concern Crosby will continue with its valuable work and the provision of its weekly lunch clubs at Waterloo United Free Church Hall, and flicks and friends, a monthly film showing at the Plaza Community Cinema.
Remembering Davina Good
Davina Good, a member of a Re-engage tea party group in Hackney, London, sadly passed away in November 2019. Davina kindly remembered Re-engage in her will and enabled hundreds more older people to be helped through the pandemic.