For this month's 'Spotlight on a Volunteer' of Great Yarmouth Samaritans we say hello to Jude.
We sat down with Jude, our new Branch Director, to find out more about her experiences of being a volunteer, why she became a Samaritan, and her interests outside of the Samaritans.
How long have you been a Samaritan and what is your role within the branch?
I joined Samaritans in the autumn of 2000. I have been very privileged in holding a number of roles over the years including, regional roles, functional lead for quality, and currently, in addition to being on the leadership team of the quality hub, I have just become Great Yarmouth branch director.
Why did you become a Samaritan?
In the 1970s, when away at college, one of my friends mysteriously disappeared each week. It eventually transpired that she had become a Samaritan volunteer. I was so impressed that she was doing something so meaningful, I decided that one day, when I had more time, I would like to do the same. The years rolled by and in 2000 I decided that I wanted to finish full time work and move to part time. There was an article about Samaritans in the Great Yarmouth Mercury and my husband pointed out that I had always said I would like to do that one day. The rest is history!
Tell us something about your life outside the Samaritans, what do you like to do?
I belong to a small (but fabulous and friendly) choir – each week we sing in a care home for dementia patients – a very easy audience and a rewarding hour. I also play tuned percussion in a concert band – I’m not very proficient so a lot of practice is needed; our next engagements are a beer night at Hickling and a harvest supper in Filby.
Family, friends and relaxation - just perfect.
Jude, Great Yarmouth branch director.
What is your 'happy place'? It can be a place, view, activity, or anything that makes you happy.
What a tricky question. My husband says it’s anywhere with him. (some truth there, but let’s not tell him that). I realise just how fortunate I am to have a number of happy places and they all involve being with family or friends. Having discovered the delights of canal holidays a couple of years ago they involve family, friends and relaxation – just perfect.