GRAHAM, VOLUNTEER THROUGH AND THROUGH

Graham volunteers for a number of organisations which help support the community in Iver, Richings Park and the local area.

Who does Graham volunteer for? He volunteers for a number of local organisations – several of which he has helped to start up: Ivers Good Neighbours Scheme, the Iver Community Library, the Richings Park Residents’ Association and the Richings Park Sports Club.

What prompted him to volunteer? There is a theme to everything that he volunteers for: all of the organisations play a part in preserving Richings Park and the Ivers as a living community, rather than just a dormitory suburb.

Until he retired, Graham was in the computing business, with one of his specialisms being accounting software and he has found these skills are hugely helpful to small community organisations to help them get off the ground or run more efficiently. Here are just a few highlights of his volunteering activities:

Ivers Good Neighbours Scheme
Graham spends a couple of hours or so each week as the co-ordinator of the scheme which provides transport for elderly or disabled local residents to help them get to appointments.

In 2016, at about the time when the local bus service was cut, Graham attended a Local Area Forum meeting which talked about the possibility of local communities setting up their own transport schemes. This was enough to get Graham and a small handful of others get together to set up the Iver scheme and he’s been actively involved in running it ever since. 

Iver Community Library
In 2006, the branch libraries in Iver Village and Richings Park were closed. Graham’s reaction was to get together with a few others and set up a community library entirely run by volunteers. Initially is was based in a local charity shop but this was not viable in the long term and the Community Library now uses space in the Community Hub in the Parish Council offices. The library has a stock of fiction and children’s books and can also access books from Bucks County libraries through the inter-library lending system.

Graham is keen to grow the library, which is currently only open on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, but would need more volunteers to make this happen.

Richings Park Residents Association – Graham joined the Residents’ Association as treasurer in the late 1980s and is now chairman. The Residents’ Association promotes the welfare and interests of the local community, representing 800 households.

There are many large infrastructure projects in the area which threaten its tranquillity, quality of life and character. Graham might spend 6 or 8 hours a week on his role at the Residents’ Association. For example, he goes to the various consultation meetings about the proposals for Heathrow Airport expansion to represent the views of the community and bring information back. He also maintains the website for the Association.

Richings Park Sports Club: Graham is an unpaid director of not-for-profit company that runs the Sports Club. The land and buildings were given to the community when the estate was first built.

Graham’s big success in relation to the Sports Club was engineering the transformation of the club from a group of dilapidated wooden sheds to the modern sports and social amenity that it is today. Graham invested a good deal of time and ingenuity in getting this done with the only cost to the Sports Club being a small portion of the land that was surplus to its requirements.

Would Graham recommend volunteering and if so why? Yes.  As he puts it, speaking to fellow computer experts and other professionals: there are so many of your skills that you can offer to small organisations to get them working. Sharing brainpower can make a lot of improvement in the voluntary sector.”

You can read more about the organisations Graham is involved with at:

Iver Community Libraries

Ivers Good Neighbours Scheme

Richings Park Residents’ Association

Richings Sports Park

 

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