Volunteers’ Week may have ended, but the hard work and determination of volunteers doesn’t stop, so we still want to share the stories sent in by our members about their amazing volunteers!
This volunteer profile was sent in by Kate Walton and tells the story of Derrick Potter, a volunteer for Pershore Volunteer Centre. Derrick recently won a ‘Black Pear Tree’ award from Worcestershire County Council for his service to the community.
Derrick Potter is approaching his 70th birthday and lives in Eckington.
Derrick became a volunteer with Pershore Volunteer Centre in early 1994 after taking early retirement from his employment to care for his parents. During the last 23 years he has made a sterling contribution to the development of the volunteer centre, particularly within the community transport project where he has been both a car driver and a minibus driver. With his gentle manner and willingness to help out wherever he can, not only is he a popular driver with our clients but also an invaluable member of the transport team. In addition to his almost daily contribution as a driver, helping to address the rural and social isolation experienced by many of our clients, Derrick has also spent time as a trustee of the Volunteer Centre, where his practical approach and sensible observations were most welcome.
However, Derrick’s great belief in fairness, justice and community spirit means he has not restricted his activities purely to the Volunteer Centre. Retaining his links with transport issues, he also devotes a significant amount of his time to the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, where he has played a principal role for a number of years, supporting their work representing passengers on the line serving Oxford, Worcester, the Malverns and Hereford, and working to secure the future of that line. Derrick is actively involved in his local church, serving as a church warden in Eckington and representing the parish at Deanery Synod meetings, as well as being a trustee and secretary for local trust funds associated with the church.
Over the years, Derrick has been involved in other voluntary organisations, including Citizens Advocacy and the Credit Union movement, as well as minibus driving for a number of local charities taking their clients to lunch clubs or on social outings. Now approaching his 70th birthday Derrick has decided not to renew his minibus driving licence, but instead of using the opportunity to take things easy, he has indicated his commitment to community transport by giving notice that he will increase his availability for car driving.
We are delighted that such a steadfast member of the volunteering community has no intention of retiring and local residents will continue to benefit from his commitment.