The Wimbledon Society provides a much-needed opportunity for (mainly) older people to connect, and in addition gives its members the opportunity to become active volunteers in Wimbledon’s community, if they so desire.
Issues alive and kicking include planning, the ever-growing and changing history of Wimbledon, local buildings of interest, the upkeep of the commons we all love to walk in, and of course that latest neologism on everyone’s lips, Crossrail2.
Once the annual subscription of £20 is paid, a member of the Wimbledon Society has access to free ‘walk & talks’ in Wimbledon, a free quarterly newsletter packed with local information, as well as excursions much further afield; but just as importantly the opportunity to volunteer provides roles that include writing for the Society’s newsletter, to manning the desk at the Society’s museum for a couple of hours a week (the museum is free to all, not just members), to lobbying Crossrail2 to come up with a better solution for Wimbledon – something that has produced some real success recently.
You can also serve in groups that have regular contact, influence and partnership with other groups in the area, such as helping out with shaping policy for the maintenance of Wimbledon and Putney Commons. In addition, museum volunteers give talks to the elderly in their care homes if they are not mobile enough to get to the museum, and students can apply to do work experience in the museum, to learn Curation, or to come and look through the archives for information for an essay or thesis.
A new project, just up and running, is the Society’s development of an Oral History program, that will record the early memories of local elderly long-term residents in Wimbledon. This will be an ongoing thing, a valuable addition to the trove of cultural and historical treasures on offer in the Society’s museum, and a delightful opportunity to contribute not only to the cultural fabric of the community at large but to lend an ear to some of the very elderly that live here.