Meet the volunteer. This month – Mike Clay

In the third of our MEET THE VOLUNTEER serieswe caught up with someone well known to the village – Mike Clay. We asked what volunteering means to him:

Q.  You volunteered here only quite recently. What prompted that?
  I retired from a full career in the construction industry a few years ago, so started popping in here to meet friends from the village. My daughters had done a few shifts as work experience, so I thought I’d give it a go too.

Q.  Had you done this sort of thing before?
A:   I started my working life serving teas and coffees well over 40 years ago, so it seems rather nice to be ending it in the same way! In fact, while I was a student, I took on a part-time job at Bournemouth Pavilion and became a silver-service waiter. I ended up running the coffee shop there, which allowed me to meet a large number of stars and famous faces. That led to a love-affair with the stage, which explains the photo…

Q.   What do you like about volunteering Mike?
A:   I like to think of myself as a very community-spirited person. I have been a bell-ringer in the village since 2000, I’m often out litter-picking, and some will have seen me on stage with the Swanmore Amateur Dramatics Society, which I have been doing for 38 years! What I’ve learned is that you meet some great people volunteering, so I started doing an hour a week in Barnaby’s and it has grown from there at a pace I can fit in with everything else.

Q.   How have you got on with making your own coffee?
A:   Barnaby’s is a popular place, so I found some time with Berty on quieter days to learn the  ropes. It’s actually not as daunting as it looks, so I’m looking forward to making coffee for my daughters when they return as customers.

Q.   What else does Barnaby’s mean to you?
A:   I have a 50 year old MG which I plan to bring to your Classic Car events that restart in April. Other than that, the fact that you donate so much to local charities definitely has an appeal. Keep going!

(Well, we could not do it without volunteers like you Mike, so thank you)