The buzz of volunteering
Ged Beaumont is one of our volunteers. He tells us how he's been continuing to volunteer and fundraise for us during the coronavirus pandemic.
I’m Ged and I’ve been volunteering for Leonard Cheshire in Wales since 2007. I started my volunteering journey by completing the Cardiff half marathon in a clown outfit! The money I raised went towards cycling and physio equipment at Llanhennock Lodge in Newport. After that, I knew I wanted to do more to help.
Organising fundraising events
One of my proudest achievements was when I organised Tour De Cymru for Leonard Cheshire in 2017. I planned it with my wife Julie, who is an Administrator for the charity, and we managed to raise over £26,000. It was fantastic! The best buzz was definitely seeing all the residents coming out to cheer us on. Everyone was so excited - there was a great atmosphere.
I think that’s one of the best parts of volunteering – the buzz. It’s such a great feeling seeing other people take part too. You see people cycling, giving it their all and they’re doing it, no matter how long it takes. It all makes such a difference!
Tour De Cymru was such a success that we repeated it in 2018 and I helped out with the driving and maintenance that year. I’ve also volunteered at several other Leonard Cheshire events, including The Royal Welsh Show and events taking place at The Senedd (Welsh Parliament).
What I've been doing during lockdown
Of course, volunteering is vital all year round, but during this pandemic, it’s been needed more than ever. While we’ve been in lockdown, I’ve been helping get personal protective equipment (PPE) to our services across Wales.
I’ve been all over the place delivering the equipment – from Llanhennock Lodge to Dolywern, near Llangollen, taking it down to Carmarthen, to Danybryn, and back to Llanhennock! I’ve even transported blood from Llanhennock to the Royal Gwent Hospital. It has been important to me to help out as much as I can during this time.
Since I love a challenge, I also decided to take on a pledge to help raise money for Leonard Cheshire and the people they support. I saw how busy and motivated the staff have been at services, and I just knew I wanted to be able to do more. So, in honour of the charity’s founder Leonard Cheshire, I decided to take on a cycling challenge for VE Day.
Fundraising during a pandemic
Dressed as an Avro Lancaster Bomber, my challenge was to cycle for 12 hours in my garden without a break! It was hard work, but I managed it and raised over £1,600.
The money will be going towards helping combat loneliness and isolation among disabled people in Wales during this tough time. I’m so pleased I’ve been able to come up with new ways to give back where I can!
I really do recommend volunteering. Seeing people’s faces when you’ve helped make a difference and improved their quality of life is so worth it. You can’t beat the feedback and expressions on people’s faces when you’re helping them out.