Case study: Volunteer Education Programme
Peter Evans explains what he gets out of being a volunteer educator for Parkinson's UK, teaching care staff about the condition.
Our volunteer educators provide a free 1-hour introductory training session on Parkinson's to care staff working in residential or community care, delivered in the workplace.
Our volunteer education programme ethos is really simple - people who understand Parkinson's help care staff understand Parkinson's. We share our knowledge and resources to help improve care for people with the condition.
"I have found being a Parkinson's UK volunteer educator very rewarding and therefore extremely worthwhile.
"I was born in Tavistock, Devon and went to the local grammar school. I then went into the RAF as a radar engineer for a number of years before joining the Bristol City Police, which I retired from 20 years ago.
"I have done many different things since retiring and one of the most satisfying is undoubtedly visiting nursing homes as a Parkinson's UK volunteer educator.
"I know a number of people with Parkinson's, so I decided to volunteer for Parkinson's UK. Having been an instructor while serving in the police, being an educator for Parkinson's UK felt like a natural fit for me.
"A month or 2 later I had an enjoyable day of training with Parkinson's UK. This training was adequate for anyone who wanted to be an educator and go into a nursing home to deliver an hour's training to the staff.
"The way I look at it, I go to a nursing home and deliver training on Parkinson's to 7 staff. Let's say, as a consequence, the following day each trainee gives a person with Parkinson's 5 specific acts of consideration and kindness that they would not have otherwise given without the training.
"It's fair to assume these 35 acts of kindness would not have been given if I hadn't delivered the training to the staff. Just how fulfilling and satisfying is that for me? If I multiply this by the number of nursing homes I have presented to, it's overwhelming.
"You can do the same and together we can make a big difference for a large number of people with Parkinson's."