After a successful 35 year career in banking, Mark, from Maidstone, decided to take early retirement and was looking forward to a change in direction. What he didn’t expect was to plunge headfirst in to a country-wide lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Mark says: “We went into lockdown on the Monday and I retired the following Tuesday. My retirement plans went on hold and instead, I spent time improving the house and garden but that was never going to fill all of my time”.

Mark’s family are long term supporters of Demelza – his mum volunteers with the Family Support team and has generously donated various plants to the recently refurbished garden at the hospice in Sittingbourne – so he had no hesitation in signing up as a volunteer. Mark says: “Originally, I signed up to be a volunteer driver but opportunities were limited at the beginning due to lockdown restrictions. I delivered a car seat to a family – something that was so easy for me to do but meant so much to the family – and also dressed up as elf last Christmas to deliver Christmas presents to the children who are supported by Demelza”.

Mark has put his professional knowledge to good use too. As an expert in fraud prevention, he is one of two Digital Champions, working on Demelza’s digital inclusion programme, supporting volunteers to protect themselves online, as well as developing training sessions alongside Demelza’s IT department.

Mark says: “I really enjoy volunteering at Demelza. Until I started volunteering, I had no idea how much support the staff offer to children and families on an on-going basis – it’s a fantastic charity”.

Visit our volunteering webpage to find out more about volunteering with us.