Sheila shares her experiences of volunteering @thegrange community centre.

Eighty one year old Sheila Underwood from Blackpool is living proof that you’re never too old to give something back to your community.

Until quite recently, following the death of her husband, Sheila had been reluctant to leave her home and becoming increasingly isolated. She says that @TheGrange community hub in Grange Park has given her a new lease of life and helped her to rediscover her passion for volunteering.

Sheila, now volunteers 3 days a week at @TheGrange, helping out at the Winter Warm Club. She says that it makes her feel good to do something for other people and that volunteering also helps her to stay active and meet new friends. Sheila has also encouraged and inspired other volunteers to get involved with @TheGrange.

Sheila, volunteer at the Grange

Sheila takes up the story:

“After I lost my husband, I wouldn’t leave the house unless I had someone from my family with me. I didn’t even go to the shops. I was afraid that people would offer their condolences and I’d get upset.
I couldn’t cope with that.”

“It was my daughter who suggested I tried the lunch club at @TheGrange on Monday afternoons, just to get me out of the house for a couple of hours.  So I brought my friend Janice with me, just in case I didn’t know anyone else. As it turned out, I did know some of the other people. Since then, I’m over here most days and a group of us now meet up. They are a lovely bunch of ladies. We have lunch, go on the organised day trips and we have a laugh. We’ve even joined a chair based exercise class.”

Winter Warm Club

“Since @TheGrange started the Winter Warm Club last October it has been a massive help for local people and families, including myself. There’s a launderette, with washers and driers you can use 3 times a week. There’s also a food pantry where you can get 10 items for £2.50. Where else could you get a box of teabags for 25 pence? You can get a lovely hot meal for £2 from the community café and even help yourself to a winter coat from the coat rack.”

It makes me feel good that I can doing something for somebody else.

Chair based exercise class at @TheGrange

Volunteering at @TheGrange

I volunteer every Wednesday in the laundry room and Thursday and Friday afternoons on the food pantry. I love doing that. I’m meeting different people and it makes me feel good that I can do something for somebody else. And it takes my mind off things that have happened.

We are all in the same boat and we all need help in some way or other. The Winter Warm club is absolutely fantastic.  

Everywhere should have a place like @TheGrange. And the staff are brilliant too.

If you are interested in volunteering at @TheGrange, just pop into reception for a chat to find out more. You’ll find us at 2a Dinmore Ave, Blackpool, FY3 7RW.