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Planning Retirement Online

Volunteering in later life

May 2004 



REACH, the charity that places professional and business people in part-time voluntary jobs, opens its files to laterlife..  


Name: Gordon Parkin of Skidby, East Yorkshire.

Previous employer: Senior Technical Planning Officer for Hull Kingston Communications, the only independent telephone company in the UK, for whom he worked for over 40 years.

Specific experience: Full Health and Safety qualifications.


Now volunteering with:  Royal National Lifeboat Institution as Safety Advisor for the Northumberland and Lincolnshire region.  

What he does:  Regularly visits the RNLI shops as well as the Grace Darling Museum at Bamburgh Castle. Advises staff on how to understand and comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act regulations, and how to look after themselves and customers. Ensures that regular risk assessments are undertaken, with appropriate action as required.

What he says: . “The lifeboat men, and those who support them, do a marvellous job. Most of the volunteers have Naval or RNLI connections and they too, are staunch believers in the cause. They have saved thousands of lives at sea, in horrendous conditions, and I am delighted to work with them, using abilities that I acquired during my working life”.

Previous voluntary work: With Age Concern, the Institute for the Blind, and the local Guide Movement.

Other retirement interests: Studying for an Arts and Humanities Degree at Hull University and a Computer Studies Foundation Course at Lincoln University. In partnership with his wife, currently runs a reminiscence therapy business for the elderly in residential and nursing homes. Spare time, when there is any, is devoted to sailing, and touring in the couple’s motorhome. 


For REACH: tel 020 7582 6543 or visit the website:

RNLI website: 

How and REACH reunited former colleagues

When Phil Kenny from Canada logged on to  he was astounded to read about Graham Piggott’s  volunteering work for REACH. He and Graham had been friends and colleagues (both in the UK and abroad) when he was in the Royal Canadian Navy and Graham was serving in the Royal Navy. They had kept in contact for many years but then lost touch and had not seen one another for more than eleven years. Phil immediately contacted who passed on his message to REACH.  Now the two friends are back in contact.



laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also regular columns of a more specialist nature such as healthwise, reports from the REACH files, and a beauty section called looking good in later life.

Also don't forget to take a look at our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT by IT trainer and author Jackie Sherman.

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