Phylis Aitchison, Marion Holden and Robert Sparks have been running their weekly flower arranging sessions at Watling Court for nearly three years, around 20 tenants attend each week, keen to get creative with their beautiful bouquets and spend a morning nattering over a few cups of tea.
“We started off at a local club,” explains Phylis, “a few of the tenants would attend but as more interest developed, we decided to move into the activity room available at Watling Court but we outgrew that so now we use the conservatory!
“It’s like our second home, we love it and it’s great for the tenants too, one of the ladies used to be so shy and quiet but she’s really come out of her shell and now she’s really chatty! It’s just such a sociable activity, the tenants all love chatting with one another and they notice if someone misses a session.
“We’re in our sixties so volunteering is great for keeping us busy too, we work as a team and have such a laugh together. I do think more people should volunteer; just an hour here and there can make such a difference to the lives of older people and to your own lives!
“Ultimately, we do this because we enjoy it. It’s become such a regular thing that I find it strange when we miss a week because of holidays. It’s just fabulous, I’d absolutely recommend it.”
The volunteers don’t just help out with the flower arranging, they also support fetes and events at the home and organise raffles. Robert also sometimes plays the piano for the tenants, along with Ruby, a keen pianist who lives at Watling Court.