Meet Roy Attwood – an invaluable volunteer for over 30 years!

15 March 2024
As part of our work to highlight the contributions of people whose work involves or supports volunteers, we met up with Roy Attwood, who has been a volunteer at Glusburn Institute Community and Arts Centre for over 30 years. We asked him about his experiences and also found out a little something that not many people know!

Please introduce yourself

My name is Roy Attwood and I’m 78 years young. I volunteer at Glusburn Community & Arts Centre. I was born and raised in Skipton, North Yorkshire. When I got married, we moved to Glusburn as we couldn’t afford the house prices in Skipton. The plan was to get a foot on the mortgage ladder and move back to Skipton, but over 50 years later we’re still here!

What attracted you to the organisation and role?

I have volunteered at the Centre for well over 30 years.  My first involvement was through our children who attended dance classes there. I was also part of a new indoor bowls group from its inception. All regular user groups were invited to send a representative to the monthly trustee meeting, and I volunteered to be the indoor bowls rep. When a new Chair of Trustees was voted in, she asked me to support her as Vice Chair and that then got me seriously involved in volunteering!

I spent my working life in engineering and take a practical approach to things. I feel I have a wealth of skills gained through work experience and training opportunities over the years, and it seemed a shame to let these go to waste when I retired. For me, volunteering is a fantastic way of transferring my skills to help benefit others.

What would you say to anyone thinking of becoming a Volunteer Coordinator/ Manager?

I’m not sure anyone has ever actually given me advice regarding volunteering!  But if I could offer anyone any words of wisdom, I would say: “If you’re interested in volunteering, have a good look at the skills you’ve gained over time and see if they can be of benefit to another organisation”.  You’d be surprised at how transferable your skills can be, and this is particularly important at the start of retirement.

What have you learnt about yourself while in this role?

I gain a huge amount of personal satisfaction from volunteering and love seeing the benefits for me personally and for being part of a team. I cherish being able to help others and give advice where I can.

Finally, please tell us something about yourself that your colleagues would be surprised to know.

Not many people know that I’m related to Sir James Falshaw, a former Lord Provost of Edinburgh. He was involved in the railway boom of the 1840s as, like me, he was an engineer!

Want to find out more about how we can support you?

If you are currently in a volunteer coordinator role, why not have a look at our specialised training or join our coordinator’s network that offers practical guidance and support to volunteer coordinators and managers across North Yorkshire.