Volunteer Spotlight on Carolyn Rhind
Carolyn has been one of Revive’s amazing volunteers for 6 months now and supports us at our Wednesday drop-in sessions. Carolyn had always intended to become involved with supporting refugees and asylum seekers when she finished working and had already had some contact with Revive through an Iranian service user at Revive, that a friend of hers was supporting also.
Carolyn says, “I was devastated when I was made redundant as I absolutely loved my job but two years on I can honestly say that in fact, being freed up to be able to volunteer has been one of the best things that has happened to me. Both my experiences with refugees and in the hospital have brought me into contact with an amazing number of such interesting and lovely people – it really makes you realize how much more there is to life than just going to work and following the same routine every day. Volunteering has really enriched my life in a way that I had not anticipated and I am recommending it to everyone I talk to!”
What was your background before volunteering at Revive?
I live in North Manchester with my husband Mike who is an IT manager. I have four daughters, three in their twenties now, and the youngest who is 12. My oldest daughter also volunteers once a week teaching English to refugees.
I was originally a solicitor and then, more recently, the Deputy Head at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester city centre, responsible for the pastoral care and overall welfare of all the students. I was made redundant about two years ago and so, having stopped work a lot earlier than expected, decided to do some volunteering with all the free time that I now had! I also volunteer at Manchester Royal Infirmary twice a week and I was volunteering at Manchester Refugee Support Network before I started at Revive.
What do you think the best things about Revive are?
I am always struck by the absolute dedication and commitment of all the staff and volunteers there and obviously the fantastic service that they provide.
What has been your highlight so far in your volunteering experience at Revive?
I had started seeing a young Iranian woman, Hatameh, before lockdown just to chat and improve her English. She was pregnant and the baby was due during lockdown. She is totally by herself here in the UK as her husband and 8 year old son unfortunately got detained in Greece when they were making their way over to the UK and she has not seen them since last August. When it came to the date for her caesarian she asked me if I would be with her so I was present in the operating theatre when little Ayden was born which I have to say was one of the absolute highlights of my life so far! I was able to smile and wave at Hatameh’s mother and husband on face time while we were waiting to go into theatre and I hope it reassured them a bit knowing that someone was at least with Hatameh when they couldn’t be. And I now have a very very cute surrogate grandson!