Meet Simon… our shop volunteer who loves being part of the team
Simon Bard has been a regular volunteer in our shops for almost five years and counts himself lucky to have met so many wonderful people. You might have seen him if you pop into our North Finchley or occasionally Mill Hill shops.
He had a 25-year career in IT customer support until the work was outsourced and it’s been a struggle to find employment since.
Simon has Ataxia, a little-known degenerative disease which affects the part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement. Symptoms include slurred speech, stumbling, falling and uncoordinated movement. A common misconception is that the person might be drunk.
The father-of-two was introduced to North London Hospice in November 2013 by Seetec and began working in our East Finchley shop. Over the next four years he volunteered at our Mill Hill and now Finchley shops. “I like to help in the shops because it gives me a routine. I find all of the volunteers and managers I’ve worked with really fun and count myself very lucky to have met so many wonderful people.
“It’s an interesting place to volunteer. We get all sorts of donations into the shops. I’ve seen it all….”
Simon, 53, was diagnosed with Ataxia when he was nine years old but he hasn’t let it hold him back. He’s completed the Big Fun Walk twice and marshalled at our fundraising event twice and regularly helps with many of our other events.
He and his wife recently adopted a rescue dog called Alfie – who ensures he stays active!
Simon says he’d recommend volunteering to anyone: “I really appreciate working in a team and it’s nice to get recognition for my personal contributions. The flexibility of managers and colleagues at NLH makes it a great workplace for anyone considering volunteering here.”