‘Keep going!’: The joys of volunteering

There are so many ways to volunteer – Ian Sutcliffe in Bedfordshire shares his volunteering journey with us and, most recently, with COVID vaccinations.

My first involvement with Alzheimer’s Society was at Cambridge Memory Walk in 2018, after my son Gary asked if I would be willing to help out.

He’s a Community Fundraiser, and my wife and I try to support him and the charity wherever and whenever we possibly can. 

Push them through 

I got there early and it was chucking it down with rain! I was a marshall 
– I’ve been involved with my local running club for 35 years, so I’m used to marshalling.

Ian Sutcliffe

They put me on a prominent point, to make sure people crossed safely. I thought Memory Walk was very, very good.

I could see why people were doing it. You cheer them on, try to encourage them. ‘Well done! Keep going!’ Push them through.

Everybody was friendly and people appreciate what you’re doing. It was very good fun and I enjoyed helping out. 

Festival fundraising 

I’m also involved in local fundraising in Bedfordshire. One of the pubs holds a real ale and music festival called Broomstock, which supported Alzheimer’s Society. It was spread over two days and I went along to help out.

We had a collection and sold badges, and the pub doubled whatever we raised. We also gave out materials. 

Other pubs and shops in the area help us fundraise through collection tins. Some places have collection tins left, right and centre. It’s imperative the tins are checked on a regular basis, so I go in every six to eight weeks to see what the situation is. 

I’ve also held a collection bucket outside Asda in Biggleswade. You greet the people and talk to them, it’s a friendly manner more than anything else. This past year has obviously put the brakes on a lot of fundraising, although I still tell people about the Society. 

Vaccine volunteering 

I’ve had my COVID-19 vaccine and also volunteered for the vaccine effort at my local surgery.

They were asking for volunteers to guide people into the surgery, once they’ve parked, so they know where they’re going.

There were four-hour slots spread over a 12-hour day. I did 12pm–4pm and it was a freezing cold afternoon! 

I’ve enjoyed my Alzheimer’s Society volunteering and my vaccine volunteering – I’d recommend them both.


Will you join the thousands of Alzheimer's Society volunteers already taking on dementia? Find a volunteering opportunity in your local area.

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Dementia together magazine: Apr/May 21

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now
Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now


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