Skip navigation

Some of our Volunteers' Stories

Polly (pictured front with Margaret, both loading audio books onto memory stick) lives in Wendover and was a cypher officer in the WRNS in her younger days and then worked in a range of PR, marketing and administration roles. She didn’t retire fully until last year, when she was still working two days a week at Tring Park School at the age of 70. Now she spends Thursday afternoons helping in our library.
While I was still working, I used to see your advert in the Wendover News asking for volunteers and I always thought that when I stopped work, that’s what I’d like to do. I love reading and thought it sounded like something close to my heart. My uncle had macular degeneration and a friend of mine is losing her sight quite rapidly at the moment, so I can really sympathise with the people who use Calibre. I feel I’m being useful, putting something back, and it’s giving other people the chance to enjoy something you like yourself.”
“I worked on CDs at first, cleaning them when they come in and making sure they’re OK to go out again, but now I’m mainly working on the memory sticks. I thought the training was very good – very hands on. The staff have been very patient and it’s been fine. I’ve not had any problems with it at all.”

Caryn issuing books on memory sticks
Caryn, 61, (pictured issuing books on memory sticks) lives near Winslow and volunteers in our library two days a week. She worked in the HMRC valuation office in Aylesbury before she took semi-retirement and now works from home in her husband’s business. She joined Calibre’s team in May 2014 on the encouragement of a friend, who also volunteers with us.
“I started out on the CDs and was checking the books in and out but I’m mostly in the [memory] stick room now. I like to know a bit about everything that’s going on and it’s nice to feel you can do more than one thing. There were no problems doing the training and you can always ask someone if you’re not sure. The people here are very nice and you feel as if you are doing something worthwhile for the people who use the service and the community you live in. I love the spoken word and really like listening to stories and plays on the radio, and I think it’s fantastic to give that to people who can’t enjoy reading books.”

Voluntter Val
Val (left) is 78 and lives in Stoke Mandeville. She worked as registered nursery nurse before she retired and had several other volunteer roles in the local community before she came to Calibre in October 2014. She spends Thursday afternoons working in the CD section of our library.
It was something I thought about for a long time before I got around to it and when I did, I wished I’d started sooner! I enjoy the company and the feeling that I’m doing something to help other people. I’ve got MS so I get tired but you’ve got to get out and do something.”