The Volunteers

An extract from page 4 of the December 2006 / January 2007 Newsletter

The Old School is a real asset to the community.  It could not operate without the extraordinary contribution of a virtual army of volunteers. 

Winston Churchill noted that “we make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give”.  Over the next few months, we would like to feature the many people who “make a life” by giving generously of their time and abilities to the successful management of the Old School. Anyone who would like to add to the column should send their contributions to the Old School or email the Editor (contact details on page 2). 

Even before the Old School opened as a Community Centre in September 1997, a team of about twenty villagers had worked tirelessly for four years to bring the project to fruition.  Despite rather disheartening comments like “it sounds like a wonderful idea but it will never be viable, so I can’t support it!” they persevered.  Having put together a Funding Package, they had to seek grants to cover the cost of purchase and of furniture and other equipment.  A major contribution of £99,000 came from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

As you can see from the Diary on pages two and three, there is a very wide variety of events and activities at the Old School ranging from acupuncture to yoga.  Some of these are services where the provider charges a fee for the work done but in many cases the activity is organised and run by volunteers.  Day in, day out, month in, month out, they give the priceless gift of their time.  It is difficult to estimate how many volunteer hours are contributed to the Old School each month – by the Trustees, the administrators, those people who do the cooking (and the clearing up!) and the organisers of the various events but the fruits of their labour are evident in the busy schedule at the School. 

It seems fitting that a building that provided learning for the children of the village in the past should be doing the same for its adults in the present day!