As we celebrate Volunteers week and pay thanks to the hundreds of who give their time selflessly to ensure others have the chance to play the sport we all love, we wanted to show that the volunteering is not always about giving! Those who find time to help, often get something much more special back.

Alan is one of our Walking Cricket volunteers and he’s given 18 months of weekly commitment to support the development and growth of our Taunton hub.

I run the Taunton Walking Cricket Group on a Monday morning each week at Blackbrook Leisure Centre.  I start the session with a fun routine of warm up exercises before we get into a game of indoor cricket with a soft ball.   I’m also on hand to offer any pointers should the players ask.

My own involvement in cricket saw me playing to a very high standard for a long time, but I’d never really got involved in volunteering.  However, one day I was exercising in the gym at Blacbrook and saw lots of people walking around and playing cricket in the sports centre!  Before I knew it, I was facilitating the session!

The group provides me with a fantastic opportunity to work with men and women, mainly of retirement age and many of whom have never picked up a bat or ball!  I love being able to support the group by sharing my knowledge and skills of the game.

I don’t really see it as volunteering as it’s given me so much.   Having moved from Bristol to Taunton a couple of years ago I didn’t know too many people.  Now, I have met a new group of people, made friends and created a good social environment, not only for myself but for others.    I have also joined the local cricket club, started playing again and have made another new set of mates!

I am very proud of the group.  It’s a great thing to be part of, especially when you see everyone playing and then everyone staying after the session for a cuppa and a catch up!