There’s an episode of Friends in which Phoebe spends an entire day trying to find an act of kindness that doesn’t deliver some sort of benefit to the person doing the deed.
TO CUT A SHORT STORY EVEN SHORTER, she fails. Every single example of giving something away rebounds with something good. Everyone who has ever been a volunteer knows this to be true. You do something that isn’t for your own gain and you feel much better for having done it. You make new friends. You learn a new skill. At the very least, you can almost guarantee that you’ll end up feeling all warm and tingly.
Volunteering is going on all around us all the time, the vast majority of it unseen. Not every volunteer gets to wear a high-vis vest or an Olympic Games Maker uniform. Not everyone gets nominated for a Sunny Worthing Award. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t rewarding and vital to the quality of life in our town. In fact, if all the volunteers in Worthing were laid end to end, not much would get done until they all got up again and carried on.
WORTHING’S LONG AND LOVELY PROMENADE is a great place to ride a bike. But what about those who can’t ride on their own due to a disability or health issue?
The good news is inclusive cycling is now only a few months away, thanks to Community Interest Company CYCALL. Founders Martine and Rob Walters hope to launch their accessible bike scheme in the spring, when you might spot specially adapted tandems and side-by-side trikes joining wheelchair transporter bikes and even wheelchair tandems pushing along the seafront.
Better still, you might find your own feet on the pedals. The whole scheme depends upon volunteer ‘buddy riders’ to help propel these extraordinary machines along, sharing the ride with people from care homes, schools or hospices. CYCALL wants to encourage the empowerment and confidence of disabled individuals in an atmosphere of positivity and fun.
Martine knows how important it is not to let a disability stop you. “I have a degenerative muscle wasting disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease,” she explains. “I was diagnosed in my teens and now use a wheelchair.
“We knew that Worthing would be ideal for an adapted cycling scheme: the promenade offers a ‘Changing Places’ toilet, ramped access and disabled parking. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy the restorative sea air.”
Since its launch in May 2018, CYCALL has received an overwhelming amount of community support, including donations and grants from local businesses, Worthing Rotary Club, West Sussex Travel Society, Worthing Community Chest, Sport England and Adur Council.
However, CYCALL is still looking for more volunteers and buddy riders. Contact Martine at email@example.com if you’d like to help. CYCALL is also keen to find storage opportunities as near to Worthing seafront as possible. To find out more, go to asouth4all.co.uk/cycall or facebook.com/groups/cycall
Further Volunteering Opportunities
TIDE OF LIGHT Worthing’s illuminated community festival is back in 2019 bringing together schools and community groups in a lantern parade. Making sessions throughout 2019 and on day itself. Need lantern makers, session helpers and street marshalls. Can pay for travel and expenses. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
GIRLGUIDING Some Worthing units in danger of closing as volunteer numbers have reduced. Help at meetings and trips or with admin or accounts. Choose to work with Rainbows, Brownies, Guides or Rangers. Contact: email@example.com
STORM Litter picking, one Saturday a month 2-4pm. Gardening the town beds once a month 2-4pm. Coordinating Worthing Winter Night Shelter with rota of helpers; Evening 7.00pm -10.45pm Overnight 10.30pm – 6.30am Morning 6.15am – 8.00am. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAD LA SOUL Saturday morning get together for dads, kids and OAPs. DJing, Music, Film-making, Crafting, soft play, Lego. We are looking for dads with skills to help with setting up, printing, design, even running a session. Contact: email@example.com
GREEN SPACES Developing urban green spaces and gardens all around Worthing. Green-fingered volunteers welcomed, also need a secretary and a social media manager. Contact: AdurWorthingGSP@gmail.com
WORTHING PRIDE Saturday 13 July 2019. Get in touch if you would like to be a volunteer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD PIONEERS Volunteer to help with cookery classes and outdoor BBQs, beekeeping events, seaweed beach walks and local food workshops. Visit foodpioneers.org.uk to get a flavour. Contact: email@example.com
Karl Allison | WORTHING COMMUNITY CHEST