“It keeps the feet going, keeps the brain going and that’s what you need at my age.”
Noel Dunn’s philosophy on volunteering is simple, and it’s on this premise that he has built a life around helping others in his community. An involved and dedicated volunteer since starting a Neighbourhood support group in the seventies, Noel is not a man with a lot of leisure time. Moving to the Dunblane Village gave Noel the opportunity to support and volunteer within another community. He says that volunteering makes him feel good inside.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that Noel’s life underwent some changes, restrictions meant that Noel had to stop and take stock of things for a bit. But this didn’t keep Noel from action for long, being situated in the heart of Dunblane Village he was able to quickly put things into place beginning a Lockdown exercise class. He engaged his neighbours within the village in the classes and then people farther afield as restrictions allowed. As people exercised from their doorways, and by pulling chairs into their gardens Noel facilitated with his trusty sound system encouraging his neighbours to come together safely and keep active. The impromptu classes gave people a sense of routine and companionship to their days providing a positive opportunity to connect during a somewhat scary and unusual time.
Noel’s contribution didn’t end there as he stepped up and took on extra responsibilities to support the organisation Meals on Wheels. Many of their regular volunteers were unable to be involved safely during the Lockdown period and Noel’s delivery duties expanded considerably. He stepped up to the challenge ensuring up to twenty people a day received a meal delivered to their home. As with all of his volunteering Noel considers it to be a duty and a privilege to be involved in helping others. This is something that he intends to keep doing for as long as he is able. Feeling involved, meeting new people and making new friends are some of the things he finds most enjoyable about being a volunteer. Lockdown was an opportunity to find new ways to achieve this while supporting others throughout a difficult time. It’s people like Noel Dunn quietly getting things done and helping where he can, that move us toward recovery post-COVID 19.