News and Events
Celebrating Shirley – 15 years volunteering with Enrych!
At our pub lunch in October, we had the honor of awarding Shirley a certificate and gift . It was in celebration of the 15 years of support and dedication she has given to our members and charity.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Shirley about her experiences.
Enrych: Tell us about yourself, Shirley.
‘Well, I’ve done many things. I’ve been a nanny, a Postie and run a B&B on the Isle of Mull. I even had a job once checking bank notes for faults.
I started my disabled care work with my father who had no legs. Later, I also worked with Dr Barnardos. When I heard about RCV (as ENRYCH was then), I thought, “What could I offer?”
Before I knew it, I was helping Peter who was in a lay-down wheel chair. It seemed like such a simple thing—spend a few hours a week to share an interest with someone. We would meet at the church in Aylesbury, where I would help Peter enjoy a cooked breakfast. Then we would listen to classical music there together.
After Peter, I volunteered for Johnny and we would do crosswords together at his home. We had so much laughter and a wonderful relationship. Even though Johnny had so much hardship, he made me appreciate life. My eyes were opened.
I also helped Caroline with jigsaw puzzles. We only managed a few pieces in the hours I would sit with her. After she died, her family gave me a beautiful puzzle case.
After Caroline, it was Sally who became my nearest and dearest. (Sally has MS) I helped with her gardening at first and later, she suggested Scrabble.
We’ve laughed and cried together. Sally can only move one arm but she truly lives her life. She is so happy. She puts me to shame!’
Enrych: What difference do you think it has made to the people you have volunteered with?
‘I like to think it gave them something to look forward to at least once a week. We always had a laugh and that’s what they wanted. We’d put the world to rights. It was always about so much more than just a crossword, or a puzzle! (laughs).
When I come to our pub lunch, I think all of our people have every reason to moan, yet together they are such a happy bunch.
You don’t hear anyone saying “Poor me”, or “Why did this happen to me”. They’ve opened my eyes to looking at life in a different way. I do admire them so much.
I like to think that I would help anyone that needed help. Isn’t that what life’s all about?’
Enrych: What do you think has been the best thing about volunteering with Enrych?
‘I think it’s the most productive thing I’ve ever done with my life. I’ve got more out of that than anything else, apart from having children. To give people laughter is such a pleasure’.
Enrych: What advice would you give to anyone out there thinking of volunteering with Enrych?
‘Go for it. You’ll never make a better choice. You really won’t. You’ll feel so fulfilled. I don’t regret a moment of my 15 years.’
Enrych: Well what an inspiration. When we spoke to Sally she told us, ‘ I have learnt a lot from Shirley. She is simply irreplaceable’.
Shirley, thank you so much!
Enrych Buckinghamshire 24 Oct 2012
Enrych Coordinator became Games Maker
Enrych Berkshire Coordinator -Lucy Burden took on a dream role as a volunteer games maker for the London 2012 Olympic games. Talking about this amazing experience Lucy said “Seven years ago I watched London win the bid to host the Games and I knew then, despite not being a huge fan of most sports, that I had to be part of it, even if it meant cleaning toilets.
Fast forward to 2012 and I’d been interviewed and selected and they gave me the role of driver, of both the (in)famous BMWs and of wheelchair accessible vehicles. Over my time at the Games I’ve had the privilege to drive Athletes, Officials, Coaches and foreign dignitaries and spent time in one of the most amazing venues on the planet with a great group of fellow volunteers. It was an amazing and humbling experience and one that I know I won’t be able to repeat in this lifetime!”
More photos available on the Enrych Berkshire’s Facebook page
Secret Millionaire Update
Hope you managed to see the Secret Millionaire on Monday 28 May 2012 – if you missed it. It’s on again on Wednesday 18th July, 9pm on More 4.
Arfan Razak (Raz) donated £13,500 to Enrych Oxfordshire, which came at a time when they were really struggling financially. He has now accepted the role of Patron to the Branch and is actively supporting them.
He will be attending their Thank You Afternoon Tea in August, meeting them at the London Eye in September, for which the cost of the coach is coming from his generous donation. In October he is bringing a team down from his award winning restaurant, The Curry Centre in Nottingham, and the Branch is taking over a pub to hold a Curry Evening
Enrych Oxfordshire are delighted to have Raz on board, he is a kind and compassionate person and, having experienced 18 months of using a wheelchair himself, cares deeply about the issues faced by people with a physical disability.
For more information, contact Penny Hurtley of Enrych Oxfordshire at