Maureen’s Retirement Posted on Thursday, 21 December 2023
Maureen O’Malley has been with VASL and its predecessors for almost 30 years, her first job was at the Volunteer Centre based in the Settling Rooms and involved all aspects of admin for the Car Scheme and Befriending.
“Potential volunteers would drop in and it was my role to talk to them about their interests and availability and help them find a suitable volunteering role. I met all sorts of people – recently retired people looking for a new purpose and younger people wanting to build skills. I got involved with the volunteer training process which I loved. Sandy (former VASL Transport Manager) also started working at the same time, and we built a great partnership supporting each other throughout our careers.”
Over the years there have been many projects at VASL always adapting to the needs of the local community and responding to the requirements of funders.
There has always been an emphasis on transport, carers, loneliness, mental health and wellbeing in different forms.
One of the most challenging times was of course during Covid when the charity had to respond to the new world, where loneliness became even more of an issue and projects adapted to support carers, older people and young carers initially in isolation and then gradually allowing projects to meet face to face in as safe a way as possible.
“My time at VASL has been simply amazing” she reflects.” All the people I have met through my working life – volunteers, clients, partners, Trustees are so passionate about wanting to make a positive difference to their local communities.
It has been a privilege to work my way up from doing a part-time admin job, through different project roles to Charity Manager.
It is fantastic to be trusted to be the custodian of such a vibrant charity”
Maureen’s voice became very familiar to listeners to Harborough FM’s breakfast show as she chatted with Dave Irving every fortnight.
It was a great opportunity to tell people about the work of VASL and to highlight other local charities that we work in partnership with.
Maureen had success in many areas of her life but that can’t be said in her attempts to answer the Three of a Kind Quiz!
“Working at VASL was never boring – we had so many challenges to deal with – finding funding, continually coming up with innovative solutions to community challenges, attracting committed staff and volunteers and supporting the wider voluntary sector through peer learning. I feel so lucky to have learnt new things and met so many fascinating people. I am now ready to hand VASL over to Julia, VASL’s new Charity Manager, so she can build on the foundation I have created. I am ready for a new phase of life!”
Maureen’s contribution to the life of Harborough District and beyond has been immeasurable, on behalf of the staff and trustees we want to record our thanks to her and to offer our very best wishes for her retirement.
PS Maureen, if you want to volunteer, just give us a ring!