Gaining purpose in retirement through volunteering | FareShare Food Charity

Gaining purpose in retirement through volunteering

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Simon Jenkinson – Volunteer of the Week, April 2017

 

When Simon joined our Friday morning kitchen crew in 2015 he was recently retired and was looking to do something worthwhile for the community.

For more than 30 years, Simon worked as a clinical psychologist running his own private practice specialising in drug and alcohol counselling. He finished his career working with students at the RMIT Counselling Service. Throughout his working life he had undertaken skilled volunteering but rolling up his sleeves in the FareShare kitchen was the first time he had turned his hand to unpaid manual work.

Simon with fellow volunteer and movie buff Jill

Volunteering is an important component of Simon’s “transition to retirement” plan. As well as volunteering at FareShare, he also teaches English to asylum seekers one day a week through the Brotherhood of St Laurence.  He knows that transition to retirement can be challenging – especially for men whose identity is often tied up very closely with their work. Two years down the track, Simon believes he has adjusted to being “retired”.

Simon especially enjoys the social dimension of his Friday morning shift in the FareShare kitchen which he shares with other book and film buffs. Simon is a mad Lord of the Rings fan – he loved the book and the movies. In fact he loves all SciFi movies and regards 2001 A space Odyssey as a timeless classic.

Reflecting on volunteering at FareShare, Simon feels a real sense of loyalty to his fellow crew. He is cognisant that every task he completes benefits those in need. He has done a lot of volunteering over his lifetime and believes FareShare is outstanding in organising and managing our volunteers. He likes the simple system we have for notifying an absence and appreciates that every contact he has with us is acknowledged.

Thanks Simon – we appreciate your loyalty to the Friday crew and to FareShare.