The inspirational woman who is still volunteering at a local nursery at 91 years old

27/06/2018

At 91-years-old, our inspirational resident Ida proves that age is no barrier to continuing to do things you enjoy.

Volunteering for over 35 years, she is still helping out at a youth club for teenagers with special needs, at a mother and toddler group and also at a centre that provides supervised parental visits for children.

The many benefits of volunteering

the inspirational woman who is still volunteering at 91 years old

Resident and former primary school teacher Ida said: “I loved helping children grow within my local community and when I retired I wanted this to continue.

"I get such a lot out of volunteering; it is a labour of love. I get a buzz from helping others and it keeps me busy. I especially love the hugs given by the teenagers at the youth club!”

Always keen to do more, she has recently started volunteering at Wee Care Day Nursery, which is located close to Bell Rotary House where she lives.

She explained: "I joked to the house manager Anna one day that I needed a job. She took me seriously and we spoke about my interests. She then approached the nursery on my behalf and helped me with the application paperwork to become a volunteer. The staff at Bell Rotary have given me all the encouragement in the world."

According to pre-school leader Claire, "Ms Martin always comes into Wee Care with a smile on her face! Not only does she visit us to impart her lifelong teaching expertise onto the children, but she could teach us all a thing or two about how to live life to the full!"

She said: "When she's here, it's clear to see that mutual enjoyment takes place across the ages. Everyone is mesmerised by her enthusiasm and drive to be involved in as many different activities as possible. She is an inspiration to us all and we look up to her, in the hope that one day we will be just as happy, determined and outgoing as she is."

Proving that age is just a number this inspirational woman in her 90s is still volunteering at her local nursery

While family and friends wonder whether she will slow down anytime soon, Ms Martin admitted she doesn't feel ready just yet. Even at 91 years old, she cannot imagine a time when she would want to stop working closely with the local community. 

"Some days I am tired and it would be easy not to go, but if you stop doing things, before long you find you are no longer able, so I push on," she said.

"It makes me feel really happy making other people happy, that’s what life is all about and I want to prove that I am not just an old woman, I still have lots to give."

Encouraging volunteering in later life through Abbeyfield's 'Residents as Volunteers' project 

While volunteering is good for individuals and the communities they live in, research shows that there is a significant decline in the number of people who volunteer after the age of 75. At Abbeyfield, we actively encourage our residents to get involved in volunteering for causes they care about. 

Our Big Lottery funded 'Residents as Volunteers' project aims to increase volunteering activity in those over seventy five years old, measuring the impact it has on the well-being and quality of life of those who participate. Click here to read more about the project.

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