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Friendly Volunteers and Volunteers who are now Friends


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Mari + Lynda

A person will go through life and make friends at school, college and work. Along the way you pick up a few pals at social gatherings or through your interest and hobbies.
Having always been active in the community, I missed my busy life when I moved to Cardiff to be near my grandchildren. I missed the people I encountered through my many pursuits.
It was at an event in the house at Insole Court during September 2017 that I spotted a pile of Volunteer Application Forms and happily filled one in. I soon became part of the army of volunteers who support the paid staff.
I shadowed Lynda for several weeks in what is now known as the gift shop before I felt competent to fly solo.
When the Lockdown happened the WhatsApp messaging became more frequent and once we were allowed out for longer periods we met for walks.

Our walks have taken us along the banks of the rivers Taff and Ely. We have explored Hailey Park, Llandaff Fields, Blackweir and Plymouth Woods. We stop to munch our packed lunches perched on logs, rocks or a bench whilst chatting merrily. Not only are we getting to know each other better, we are learning our way around Cardiff on foot.

Before the summer ends we hope to visit Roath Park, The Heath, Castell Coch and Garth Wood to name but a few..
Our talk and walk sessions are a tonic!

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John + Howard

I first met Howard when he and his wife Heather were visiting the mansion house whilst I was on volunteering duty one Friday morning. He immediately took great interest when I mentioned that we were always looking for volunteers.

Within a few weeks Howard applied and we found ourselves working together on Friday mornings. Not only did we get on with each other right from the start but by a strange quirk of fate we discovered that we were distantly related.

I thoroughly enjoy volunteering in the mansion house and having Howard and Paul Rowlands on the same shift only adds to the enjoyment.

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Caryl + Tessa

We had a very interesting presentation from an Insole Court Trustee at our gardening club, of which Tessa is president. He inspired us with details of proposed and ongoing work to restore Insole Court to its former glory. A long term project obviously. But some time later I saw a request for volunteers to help out at Insole. When I told Tessa that I was going over to enquire about what was involved she came with me and we both signed up to volunteer in the house. We have learned so much about the history and fabric of Insole thanks to Matthew’s book and of course the wonderful research group. We look forward to many happy hours with ‘our’ lovely house starting very soon.
Caryl


I originally went to Insole Court with my friend Caryl in July 2017. Caryl had heard that you needed volunteers for the house. I had been many times to the gardens with my children when they were little and to the library with my parents. Caryl was given a form to fill out and somehow I was filling one out as well!

I have never looked back! I became part of a lovely family. Nervous at first, but grew in confidence. I came to love the mansion and to share it with the visitors. I was fortunate to volunteer on a Saturday , working alongside young members of staff. I loved it!

Recently after a slight lift of the lockdown, Caryl and I went for a coffee. We met some of our old colleagues and what a wonderful few hours, as if nothing was happening! That is what friendship is all about! The ability to pick up after 4 months!
Tessa

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