Helena - Pinner shop volunteer

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"Rather than sitting at home, think about doing something different and volunteering, that will help yourself and help others"

Helena Aronson volunteers at the Pinner shop twice a week and has just turned 90! Originally from Poland, she does regular talks across the country about her experiences of being a Holocaust Survivor:

‘When I retired from my job, I was a secretary for 25 years, I wanted to do something useful for others. Being a Holocaust survivor and grateful to this country for allowing me to come and make a new life for myself, I really I wanted to do something in return and offer my services to charitable organisations.

My volunteering experiences started in South London with Age Exchange, who are still in existence and I also volunteered at the Greenwich and Bexley Hospice. I started volunteering at the Pinner shop when I moved to Harrow 7 years ago. My role at the shop is selling at the tills and I have tried to improve my skills! I think I am quite good, for example, if someone wishes to purchase an article and cannot decide between BLACK or BROWN, I advise them to buy BOTH! I also try to bring items to the shop for selling from friends, family and people I know.

Volunteering is great, I love the comradeship especially at the Pinner shop. We have our laughs, we have our smiles and experiences and I just love coming here! When it was my 90th birthday, some colleagues and I went for a nice Italian meal.  

Rather than sitting at home, think about doing something different and volunteering, that will help yourself and help others. While volunteering and being with other people, you can forget your own problems and it’s nice to be among other people who feel the same. I find it’s a much better way of going forward and I hope I can continue volunteering for as long as possible!'