Winchester Cathedral has been at the heart of a vibrant community for nearly 1,000 years. Currently, the Cathedral welcomes more than 300,000 visitors and pilgrims each year. They come to share in the daily worship and hear their world-class choir, to enjoy the wonderful setting, stunning architecture, priceless treasures and to attend their extensive programme of events.
As a local Winchesterian, Barry was keen to be involved to support the daily running of this piece of heritage in his City. He registered his interest in the Welcome Steward role via our Volunteer First Website, which he said worked well for him, helped by the fact that they got back to him in good time and visiting had produced the desired result of being placed in the role.
Barry was very pleased and said the following when asked:
Why did you decide you wanted to volunteer?
“I had felt increasingly isolated from my community during the pandemic, and wanted to make myself get out more and be busier once restrictions had been relaxed. I am also approaching retirement, and wanted to put some new activities in place in my life in preparation for that transition.”
Was there a lot of choice of volunteer roles or did you have a specific idea in mind?
“The choice of roles I found somewhat restricted. But then I did have the specific idea in mind of volunteering for my local cathedral in Winchester. It turned out that there were quite a few different volunteering opportunities available in that particular area, which helped me refine my choice.”
Were there any difficulties or barriers to finding a volunteer role?
“Not that I can think of apart from my previous answer. My advice would be to start your search with broad search-terms/keywords and then narrow down.”
Was it easy to apply, what did you have to do?
“It was quite easy to apply once they had got in touch, which took a week or two from first contact.”
What have been the best bits about volunteering so far?
“Meeting new people and learning about local history and archeology.”
What advice would you give other people who think they may want to volunteer?
“Be patient. Many charities are working with skeleton staff, and they may take time to respond.”
Was it helpful to you using the Volunteer Service/the Volunteer First website and would you recommend them to others?
“It was very helpful and I would recommend both volunteer search and recruitment platforms.”
We celebrate Barry during Volunteers’ Week 2022 for supporting the heritage in the community of Winchester and helping those who wish to embrace it. We thank him for his selfless efforts and passion!