Hello, my name’s Ronnie. I’ve been a volunteer with Open Door for 18 months.
A little about me. Before I retired, I worked with profoundly deaf children, having BSL Stage 2. I’m a Post Graduate and ex-Military. I didn’t join the Royal Air Force….I joined the WOMEN’S Royal Air Force. They dropped the “W” in the 80’s, so us older ladies are very protective about the “W” in “WRAF”. I enrolled June 1970, if you say it quickly, it sounds like three months ago, not 49 years ago, so next year will be my 50th anniversary…how is that possible, I’m only 36!
When I joined Taunton Open Door, I was hoping my years of working with challenging teenagers would benefit me and I think it has. I’m told I’m good at defusing “situations”. Although, I feel a fraud, I don’t do much, I just sit with a cup of tea and the Gazette. Apart from a “Hello”, I didn’t speak to anyone at first, I didn’t want to be in their face. After a couple of weeks, I became a familiar face and our guests started to sit with me for a chat.
Now, when I arrive, I say “Never fear… Ronnie’s here” And of course, every week it’s my birthday… any excuse for a hug!
All the volunteers are fab, we have so much fun, much to the amusement of our guests. I treat our guests as if they were my extended family.
The day I felt accepted was last year, when our lovely Brad said “Ronnie, you’re everyone’s favourite Grandma…!”