Ron has volunteered for most of his adult life but at the age of 84 and having spent the last 16 years with the Torbay Volunteer Centre, Ron has decided to call it a day.
Over the years he has helped thousands of volunteers find placements with charitable organisations via the Doit.org website – effectively a volunteer helping volunteers to volunteer.
“I can’t recommend volunteering highly enough, “ said Ron as he prepared to finally retire fully, “It is a two-way street, you give something and you get an awful lot back.”
Born a Brummie, Ron first moved to Devon to Sidmouth in 1966 to join a relative’s short-lived company in Exeter, but it was when he joined the motor trade four years later as an accountant that he moved to Torquay.
No sooner than he had moved here, he sought out his first volunteering role with the branch of Moose International – a charitable organisation set up to make a difference in the communities it serves.
He also volunteered to run the cycling proficiency scheme at Westlands School in Torquay seeing hundreds of children qualify and even briefly served on the local road safety committee.
When his work took him to Maidstone he even joined the Maidstone Community Health Council, but that was not entirely to his taste.
Once safely back in the Bay, he spent years helping prepare audiotapes for the elderly and handicapped keeping them informed of everything happening in the Bay until the technology sadly became obsolete.
It was then, in 2004 that the father of two boys turned to the Volunteer Centre, run by Torbay Community Development Trust and at least once a week visited the office in Temperance Street to keep the volunteers, volunteering.
But when the first lockdown came around and the office in Temperance Street was no longer available, Ron decided it was time to concentrate his volunteering efforts on the Torquay home he shares with his wife, Pat.
“I missed the people – those who came into volunteer as well as those who worked there,“ he said, “but I knew it was time for me to hand over to another volunteer.
“This crisis has really brought out the best in people. It is amazing how volunteers have stepped up to the mark and are more community-minded as a result. Let’s hope it continues,” he added.
Lead officer of TCDT, Simon Sherbersky said of Ron; “ I want to express my huge gratitude to Ron who has been supporting our organisation for over 16 years and has supported thousands of people to engage in volunteering across Torbay.
In so many ways, Ron has shown the true value of volunteers in supporting Torbay to be a place that values everyone`s contribution.”
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