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7 Jun 2019 Volunteer News

Kirkwood - a good place to be!

As Volunteers' Week draws to a close, we asked one our long serving volunteers, Dave Everett, to tell us all about his time here at Kirkwood. Here's what he had to say...

"My only regret about working at Kirkwood as a volunteer is, that I wish I’d done it much earlier!  I had been made redundant from the internet company I was working for in November 2001 and spent the next nine months trying to get back into publicity, my line of work, but having just turned sixty, I guess I was ‘too old’!

"My wife has often said, that whilst applying for jobs following my redundancy, I should also have contacted Kirkwood, but foresight is a wonderful thing! I eventually, I got a job with IKEA, the best part of which, was the monthly writing and production of ‘Junction 27’, their in-house magazine.

"Upon retiring in 2006,  two years later, having got up-to-date with all the household jobs that a person with limited DIY skills could handle, I was definitely missing the social aspect of going to work, and regardless of my age, knew I was most certainly not a spent force. 

"Looking to work for one day a week as a volunteer for a local charity, I applied to Kirkwood to see if they needed someone with my publicity experience either now, or in the future and they came back to me immediately. Their Fundraising & Marketing Manager , Garry Wilkinson, had been tasked with the production of an Annual Review, a document serving to show how funds were allocated and used each year and to promote awareness of the Hospice and its services within Kirklees and its business community.

"My time was soon taken up designing and producing that first Annual Review and later on, the six that followed up until 2014.  There were, however, some challenges along the way!  In the early years, the only pictures we had to illustrate the Review, were ones taken at fundraising events and random professional shots in and around the Hospice.  Whist we used as many of these as we could, they were getting to be a little bit predictable by the third issue!

Dave Everett (right) pictured in the gardens at Kirkwood Hospice with Media & Marketing Manager, Jim Coward.


"One year, to make up for this deficit, I spent a day touring Kirklees with a buddy familiar with the area and its history, taking pictures of familiar sights such as Oakwell Hall, the Red House, the famous Harold Wilson and Joseph Priestley statues and even a Bronte house plaque, just to give the document that special ‘Kirklees factor’!  Altogether, we did 55 miles that day, but it was good fun and well worth it!

"Soon after this, a photographer colleague I had worked with before, kindly donated his time to produce the best pictures we ever had and which are still often in use.

"Nowadays, I am focused more on writing promotional material, but it’s good and varied and every new project is a new challenge, which is what it’s all about.

"The two most important things about working at Kirkwood for me, have been knowing that whatever I do, really does ‘make a difference’ and the pleasure I still get out of being able to use my work experience for such a good cause.  And every time I turn up on a Thursday, I still get that same buzz and good feeling I got all those years ago."

And long may it continue!

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