For Judy, choosing to volunteer for Momentum came from a desire to give something back to the charity who had supported her own daughter through a cancer diagnosis back in 2005. For Jo, a decision to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and a serendipitous talk at her WI group about the charity, led her to doing some mountainous fundraising for us and then to volunteering too.

For both ladies, the decision to volunteer for Momentum meant that their paths crossed and, ultimately, a firm friendship was formed. As Judy recalls “I met Jo at the first event I volunteered at, a Superheroes Fun Run. We hit it off straight away and found that we had a lot of things in common. Since then, we’ve worked on various Momentum projects together and we always have great fun.” Jo agrees “We soon realised that we had very similar interests and had both recently retired with a bit more time on our hands. Not long after that we went to a dragon boat event in which Momentum were participating and were then asked to be involved in their Moments on the River boat. We spent a lot of time together getting the boat ready for families and without each other it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. Now, as well as being deckhands, we tend to volunteer for the same events and we make a great team.”

Helping to clean our beach hut at Shorefield

Jo and Judy both agree that the benefits of volunteering have been ten-fold.
“After leaving the police I felt at a loss and without a purpose, volunteering really made me feel like I was doing something very worthwhile and special. I love what the charity does for families, and I feel my help can free up time for the staff to carry out their roles which makes such a difference to so many.”

Seeing the look on children’s faces when they arrive at the boat and when a parent or child gives you a big hug at the end of the trip, helps you realize what a difference just a short escape on the river can make for every single member of the family. It’s all so worthwhile.

Momentum Children’s Charity has volunteering roles in all shapes and sizes as Jo and Judy can both attest to “Each time I volunteer is a highlight as I know it’s bringing joy to a family. I have loved meeting and talking to families on boat trips and being the hostess. I’ve enjoyed dressing up as Mo the Owl bouncing on a trampoline and taking part in the Mascot dash for the Landmarks half marathon!! I’ve met Basil Brush and helped fill Santa sacks for the special doorstep Santa service delivering delight to very sick children and their siblings.”

It’s clear that Jo and Judy have found a lasting friendship through volunteering for us and that volunteering itself is something they’re both very passionate about.

We asked them what they would say to someone who was considering giving up their time for the charity, and here’s their reply:

1. Go for it! Whatever time you can afford to give, it will make a difference.  There are such varied opportunities, in so many locations, there will always be something to suit everyone.  Most importantly though, it is surprisingly rewarding “Each event, boat trip or dressing up I come back from I feel elated that I have made a difference and helped to give happy memories.”

2. You’ll meet lots of lovely people! Volunteering offers you the chance to meet interesting people from all different walks of life. And you may even bag yourself a friend for life like us.

3. Be committed! Once you’ve made the decision to help, the charity will call on you to help bring some wonderful activities to life. So being reliable is a must and, as we’ve said before, you won’t regret it. The Momentum team are always so polite and welcoming, and really appreciative of any help you can give. The charity raises incredible amounts of funding through numerous initiatives, so you can play your part in lots of worthwhile projects.

Find out more about volunteering