SINCE retirement, I have made a conscious decision to volunteer as much as I can within the local community.

For those who have never done so, I would recommend it, as the benefits for others and for your own sense of well-being are immeasurable.

There are so many local projects and charitable organisations that need the assistance of local people willing to give up a few hours of their time each week, particularly at Christmas time. Communities can and do thrive on the positivity and energy that committed volunteers bring. The results can be amazing.

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I hear so many people saying that they don’t have the time to volunteer, that it is not their job or that somebody else should do it.

We are all busy people but are we so busy that we can’t put aside some time for others who may be less fortunate than ourselves?

John Crick, Bishop Auckland