Meet Carol our volunteer of the month

Carol Wizard
Carol Wizard

Carol cafe volunteer

This month we are featuring one of our cafe volunteers – Carol Wizard. Carol has been helping out in the cafe for over three years.

Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you do when you’re not volunteering?
Besides Brixton Windmill, I also volunteer most weekends at Trinity (the Royal Trinity Hospice). I used to work for John Lewis, but after 32 years there I was made redundant during the pandemic. I thought I was a bit young to retire, so I applied to the Open University and now do peer support, working from home. I do miss going out, but I enjoy talking to students on the phone, or via emails and webchats, helping them prepare for their studies.

What sort of volunteering work do you do with the Windmill?
I mostly work in the cafe, serving cake and taking payments. My customer service experience at John Lewis makes this a good job for me, and I get to meet lots of people.

How did you get into volunteering with FoWG?
In 2021 I got a three-month job as an enumerator, doing the census survey at the flats in the Blenheim Gardens estate. Rather than going home one day I found the park, and while there I met Abel, who told me about the  volunteering opportunities with Friends of Windmill Gardens. That’s how I found out about the windmill! I’ve lived in Streatham for many years and never knew it existed. And now I hear the same thing all the time from visitors. “It’s a working windmill, it makes flour, and it’s in Brixton!” And they never knew about it!

What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?
If you’ve got the time, it’s always good to give back to your community, and I love meeting people. The visitors, staff and volunteers are all great. I’m working at home now, so when I get the chance to come down to the windmill it’s good to catch up with people about their lives.

How do you feel you’ve benefited from volunteering with Friends of Windmill Gardens?
I’m a very outgoing person anyway, so I love giving back. It’s just made such a difference that I can come and spend time there. Volunteering is very rewarding.

Finally, tell us a surprising fact about the windmill that people may not know
People often know that the Windmill makes flour and runs tours, but not many know that we also run a community club for over 55s, as well as pilates, tai chi and a gardening group. I belong to a walking group, so I tell the ladies about it. I volunteered at the club’s Christmas party and met some interesting people. That was fun!

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