A Day in the Life of a Volunteer: John Bate

John is one of our befriending volunteers and comes in every Tuesday to have a natter with our Chit Chat conversation club. The club meets every Tuesday, 10am – 12pm, in the Gongoozler Restaurant. We welcome people to come along when they feel able and enjoy a morning in the company of our friendly volunteers and other like-minded people. John started with us in October 2016 and enjoys volunteering with Chit Chat club and on the towpath. He loves to build up relationships with regulars to the club and make sure newcomers feel welcomed. Here at Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust we are very lucky to have such dedicated volunteers like John, who support our aim of fighting loneliness and building a welcoming community space.

John let me in on some favourite Chit Chat topics which include holidays, the local area and reminiscing on old school days. Chit Chat is also a fan of the odd puzzle, even making their own to put each other to the test! John adds that he solved last week’s, so watch out everyone! It’s not too taxing though, as people have their free cup of tea and coffee while enjoying a view of the canal.

John also likes to share his passion for geology and volunteers at Saltwells Nature Reserve, helping with guided walks. He really enjoyed the recent talk at Chit Chat club given by John Chapple, Chairman of Friends of Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve.

After some lunch, John enjoys talking to visitors and staff down on the towpath where he helps to tie up the boats and help visitors on and off. I was lucky enough to get a taster of his knot tying skills, you can see pictures of John kindly demonstrating (in the pouring rain!) below.