Diagnosed with cancer in 2004, Robin became involved with Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan, as a member, participating in several programs. After recovering, Robin decided to volunteer as a driver with Wellspring, which he did for five years. In 2013 Robin moved to Toronto from Oakville, to become more involved in helping with his grandchildren, before being declared “redundant” in 2017. Casting around for something worthwhile to do, Robin applied to become a volunteer with Wellspring Downtown Toronto as a Peer Support and Front Desk volunteer. You will find Robin at the centre pulling double shifts on Mondays and Fridays and happily picking up additional shifts each week, as needed. He also spreads the word about Wellspring as an Outreach volunteer.
Having been through the cancer journey himself, Robin finds that he can more easily empathize with members going through similar journeys. “As a Peer Support volunteer it is my job to encourage members to talk about their worries and concerns and to determine which of Wellspring’s over 40 services and programs might be most suited to the members’ needs. Often a sympathetic ear goes a long way to helping the member.As a Front Desk Volunteer, I am the ‘warm welcome’ that members new and old are looking for, whether coming through the front door or calling in to the centre. Critical in both roles is the ability to learn and remember members’ names, no small feat at my age ! One of the most common comments members make is how welcoming they find the atmosphere at Wellspring.”
Robin looks forward to his volunteer shifts. “I get a lot back from volunteering” says Robin. ” I meet so many amazing people with a positive outlook on life in spite of their challenges. It can’t help but make one both humble and grateful.”