‘I love talking to people and helping them if I can’
01 October 2013
To mark Older People’s Day on 1 October 2013, we wanted to celebrate the positive impact that those in later life have on our society. This week, we will shine the spotlight on four amazing people who have given up their time to help others and make a difference through volunteering.
“I love talking to people and helping them if I can”
Barrie Myatt is a volunteer steward for the National Trust.
While many people volunteer for charities close to their heart, Barrie Myatt, 80, started by chance. ‘I started volunteering with the Scouts when my sons were young,’ says Barrie. ‘We lived across the road from the their local headquarters and I just got roped in and never escaped. Thirty two years later, I moved house and finally gave up!’
Barrie, who now lives in Goodes Court in Royston has also been a National Trust volunteer for 17 years and is determined to continue ‘until he drops dead’.
“I’m now a room steward at Wimpole Hall in Royston, Hertfordshire. It combines everything I like; architecture, culture and talking to people, I absolutely love talking to people and helping them if I can, especially the children.”
There’s nothing surprising about this. In fact, a scientific theory known as ‘survival of the nicest’ suggests that a kindness ‘gene’ is inbuilt in all of us. “We are social animals who derive pleasure from positive social interactions,” says anthropologist Professor Robert Sussman. “It feels good to be nice.”
For more information about Older People's Day and to find an event near you visit the website.