Jeffrey's Story

29 January 2024

Hi, I’m Jeffrey, I’m 60 and I am fortunate enough to have been able to take early retirement from the chemical industry. I’ve lived in Hartlepool for most of my adult life, and I absolutely love the area. I’ve always worked and was thoroughly looking forward to having some more time on my hands. What I didn’t plan for was exactly how much time this would be! I started looking around for different volunteering roles to fill some time and almost overlooked this one. I was unsure if a young lad would want to spend time with somebody my age.

When I was applying for the role, I was able to speak with one of the volunteer coordinators who really reassured me that my interests were still relatable to some of the young people they had waiting. She also put my mind at ease with my own health and how this is taken into account in the matching process. It seemed straightforward, and I was definitely more than happy to be doing things like swimming or walking. However, these old hips aren’t quite cut out for Jump 360 and ice skating! 

When I was first told about Liam, and how he loves hiking and history, I was thrilled. We’ve spent many a visit up and down the coast and visiting local historical landmarks. Our favourite walk was up Roseberry topping. It was nice to get out in the fresh air and spend a bit of time outside.

Liam loves anything navy-related and historical, so for our next visit, we’ve planned to go to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, near Hartlepool Marina. We both can’t wait!

Recently, we both decided we wanted to try something fun and a bit different. We started venturing into golf. It was something that was new for both of us, but we both wanted to give it a go. We started off easy with a round of mini golf. I never knew how competitive I actually was! Liam has certainly got a bit of a talent for it.

The best part of our visits? Our car journeys are certainly a sound – not sight, to behold. He’s hooked us up to his phone, we range from the legendary Bruce Springsteen to Bad Boy Chiller Crew. I’m not sure which of us is least impressed!

It’s really nice to feel part of a team again, as mentioned earlier sometimes retirement can be lonely. Now I have reasons to be out and about again. I regularly see Liam, have check-ins with my volunteer coordinator and get to really feel part of something bigger. I’ve even managed to learn a thing or two. It’s nice to know I have a positive impact on someone else’s life.

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