Volunteers are vital for Sidmouth charity

Kennaway House in Sidmouth

Kennaway House in Sidmouth - Credit: Archant

Trustees at Kennaway House, Sidmouth, have co-opted a new member to its board.

Carol Griffiths, who lives in Woolbrook Close, began as a volunteer at the arts and educational community centre last year.

As a trustee, she will work to find more volunteers to help keep it open and to include more Friends of Kennaway House in activities there.

Carol, who moved to Sidmouth in 2012 from Newcastle upon Tyne to be nearer to her daughter Tamsin, who lives in Topsham with her three children, continues to work as a volunteer on Fridays, helping new manager Nikki Dawkins.

“I can try to generate a volunteering arm to help and I feel the Friends of Kennaway House and people who contribute to Kennaway House, should be incorporated more,” said Carol.

“Volunteers are vital, because as a charity, we will rely on them. I would like to see the building so busy every day that you can’t get a room if you want to.

“I would see volunteers committing to a certain amount of time or regularity, say, once a fortnight, and have a job specification they are responsible for.”

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Carol draws on her experience with Sidmouth Museum and the Sid Vale Association, where she ran the museum shop for three years, and as a volunteer with the National Trust and Citizens Advice Bureau.

“Volunteers are the hub of the SVA and museum and they do tremendous work for the town,” she said.

Carol has had a busy career, first as a studio manager and announcer with the BBC, then using her sociology degree as a lecturer in sociology and social research in Newcastle for more than 20 years.

“I have lived in the North East for 45 years, but had no family there,” she said. “I was Research Fellow at the University of Northumbria, then rented in Sidmouth and was a Research Fellow at Exeter University for two years.”

She briefly moved back to the Newcastle area, but when she returned to Devon in 2012, settled in Sidmouth, which she feels is very like Tynemouth where she had been living.

Carol, who has written articles and books relating to her expertise in sociology, childhood development, dyslexia and work and education, was involved in monitoring the second election in Bosnia in 2006, after the first was declared illegal, working for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.