Selfless volunteer props up bar that’s a pillar for local communityDate: 19/04/2023
Local resident donates her time volunteering to run a local bar at an over 55s scheme that's a lifeline for over 300 residents and the wider community.
68-year-old Trudy Smith (pictured above) has been volunteering at a bar in Bradeley since 2021.
The bar on-site at Bradeley Village, one of our 55s independent living villages, has been an important part of the local community for over 30 years.
Resident Trudy donates her time each week to help run the bar that gives residents in the village and in the community a place to socialize and come together.
Her role is to make sure the bar is stocked, staffed, and ready to serve friends and neighbours.
Now retired from working in older person’s care, Trudy says the volunteer role is her way of giving something back.
“I had a long and busy career, so when I retired, I got bored and needed something to fill the gaps in my day”, said Trudy.
“I was living in Southampton but would visit my sister who lived in the village and did so for over 12 years.
“We always said that one day I would live in the village because I loved the community, on-site facilities, and activities.
“Although I was living with my daughter when I retired, I was finding myself constantly alone. They were all at school or work and I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
In 2021 Trudy made the jump to move to Bradeley Village and immediately looked for volunteering opportunities to keep her busy.
“Once I’d settled in, I asked the village team if there were any volunteering opportunities”, Trudy added.
“The bar manager asked if I would help but then a couple of months later, he became ill. Finding it difficult to volunteer his time, I offered to run the bar.
“At the time there was only me and one other person, but now we have a full team of amazing volunteers (pictured below) who I would be lost without!”
Trudy says volunteering for the village has helped her to live a more fulfilling life.
“Moving to the village and volunteering has helped me to meet new people and be more sociable”, explained Trudy.
“It’s been a rewarding experience that has helped to give me purpose.
“I’ve met so many lovely people through volunteering. I’ve become a familiar face so lots of people come to speak to me. It’s great!”
After supporting her community, Trudy is now calling on local people to do the same.
“Everyone should volunteer to help support their community!”, Trudy exclaimed.
“I encourage everyone to get involved, whether they’ve got an hour, day, or a full week to spare.
“Not only is it helping people in need, but it’s a rewarding experience for volunteers too.
“We’re always looking for volunteers at Bradeley Village to support new events or the on-site facilities that residents rely on.
“If you’re looking to be more sociable, find a purpose, or give something back volunteering at Bradeley Village could be the answer!”