My name is Shaun and I have been a volunteer with Cedar for 4 years. Initially I wanted to have something in place that I would enjoy and that would help me stay busy and connected after retirement.  

I have carried out various volunteering roles over this time. These included supporting a walking group, the On Your Bike cycling project, a healthy eating project and currently I am providing 1:1 support to a resident in Croft Communities. 

All my volunteering opportunities with Cedar have been really positive and a real benefit to my health and personal wellbeing. The walking group always finished their activity by going to a coffee shop. During this time we got to know each other, made new friends, chatted and laughed and for me, it was a very important part of my week. 

The ‘On Your Bike and the healthy eating group became very much part of my social life and I loved meeting new people. I even got to meet the Lord Mayor when we were invited to Stormont – all rich experiences!! 

As my health changed, the Volunteer Co-ordinator helped me to find a new, equally fulfilling role in Cedar. I was very apprehensive about this role initially as it was very different from what I had been doing. Up until this point I had been supporting groups and I was moving to supporting in a 1:1 situation. However I didn’t need to worry at all as I quickly developed a warm friendship with the resident I support. We have gotten to know each other well, he is an interesting man with an unbelievable memory, he can name every Dr Who, from William Hartnell in 1963.  

Although I have re-located to a different part of Northern Ireland, I am able to continue my volunteering role as we now Skype once a week and meet in person when we can.  

I recommend volunteering as a way to maintain your personal wellbeing, it has definitely worked for me. 

Click the link to find out more on volunteering here with us at Cedar: Explore Volunteer Opportunities | The Cedar Foundation (