Sandra Dil is a Volunteer at our Esk Moors Lodge supported housing scheme in Castleton, near Whitby. She has been involved with Abbeyfield for an incredible 20 years, providing vital support to the residents and staff there.
Sandra sat down to answer some questions about her time with Abbeyfield and what her role involves.
How did you get involved with Abbeyfield?
A committee group had consulted the local community and decided to set up a supported housing unit. They originally asked me to help write a business plan and then we decided to get Abbeyfield involved with their knowledge and expertise. That's how Esk Moors was set up.
I have probably been involved for around 20 years. We celebrated our 10 year opening anniversary in July 2019.
What persuaded you to become a regular volunteer?
The original committee all carried on and became volunteers.
A couple have moved away or retired (in their 90s!) but we still continue supporting our wonderful staff, Beverley our House Manager, Jeff our Chef and Kath our Housekeeper.
What does your role involve?
It’s quite varied.
We organise transport to take our residents out; welcome in groups from around the community for lunches, coffee mornings and other activities; and have a games afternoon every Thursday.
I see my role as being there to support Beverley, the House Manager. It is reassuring for her to know she can ask us to pitch in.
Although we are only a small house with 14 beds, we are still very busy!
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
As we’re a small house, it is good to know all the residents personally.
I love listening to their stories and sometimes that is the most important thing, and what they really need.
Even when I am not interacting with the residents or just serving tea and cake, it’s a nice place to be. We have a lovely house with a very good atmosphere.
Outside of Abbeyfield, what do you enjoy doing?
I have recently become a Grandmother so spending time with my family in Northumberland has a new meaning now.
Aside from that I enjoy tennis and cricket - as a spectator these days.
I love history and reading and spend every winter in India where I have many friends. It is lovely to get some sun when there is little to be found at home!
Volunteering at your local Abbeyfield
Inspired by Sandra's story? Take a look at the volunteering opportunities available with Abbeyfield.
From giving something back to your community, learning a new skill, giving your CV a boost, or simply making some new friends, volunteering with Abbeyfield could make a real difference to your life and to the lives of older people.