“I think this keeps me young…”
Retired teacher Jane has always been a keen environmentalist, leading gardening and wildlife clubs for young people during her career. She is now a volunteer at Stirley Farm, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust project, less than 4 miles from Huddersfield town centre that engages the local community in nature conservation.
Here’s what Jane says about volunteering at Stirley:
“I’ve been coming here for three years. When I retired from teaching I didn’t want to lose that connection with education, as they say ‘once a teacher always a teacher’.
“I was looking for volunteering opportunities and when I found Stirley Farm it was offering everything I was looking for. I get to work on the land and also help with the school visits and holiday clubs which have a mix of gardening, art, wildlife observation and games.
“The biggest impact I make is with the school sessions. We want the children to see where food comes from and how it grows. Then we dig up some vegetables, cook them, soup or salad usually and eat it together. This gives them a real sense of good, fresh food – we literally make them enjoy vegetables. It’s great to see. I love the way this brings together some of my varied interests. I like doing practical tasks and I love meeting lots of different people, all ages, genders and colours. The danger is, when you retire, that you just mix with other older people. I think this keeps me young.”