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90-year-old volunteer says you’re never too old to make a difference

Patients who attend Stapleford Care Centre in Nottingham always get a smile and a welcome thanks to 90-year-old volunteer, Gladys Halnon.

Gladys, from Stapleford, has clocked up over 12 years volunteering for Nottinghamshire Healthcare and celebrated her 90th birthday last month with her colleagues.  She told us why she loves her volunteering role:  “I work at the Centre one day a week and enjoy everything about volunteering, especially meeting new people”, says Gladys.  “I have volunteered for the Trust since October 2006, that’s 12½ years now.

“I greet visitors when they arrive at the Centre and show patients to various departments.  I talk to people and make them feel welcome. I also help with deliveries, water the plants and help with general tidying up like keeping notice boards up-to-date. I don’t think you’re ever too old to volunteer and make a difference.”

The Trust’s Site Services Team at Stapleford Care Centre said: “Gladys is a wonderful example that you’re never too old to volunteer and she makes a huge difference to our services and people we care for. It’s always a pleasure to work alongside Gladys. She is friendly and always makes us laugh. We look forward to Wednesdays which are brighter for having Gladys around.”

Gladys, who retired from her job as an office manager, lives alone and says volunteering is a great way to have some company whilst making a difference to others. 

Gladys adds: “I decided to volunteer because I had some spare time and I like to keep busy.  I got involved in volunteering when a friend saw a notice on the care centre window just before the building opened in 2006. I came in the following day and enquired about volunteering and the rest is history. When I’m not helping in the community I enjoy reading and catching up with friends.”

Carol Spibey, a colleague at the Centre and a friend, said about Gladys: “She is always so cheerful and happy, chatting and helping visitors on arrival at the Centre.  Nothing is too much trouble and her energy and enthusiasm is fantastic.”

Joanna Rapson, Volunteering and Befriending Manager for the Trust, said: “Together, our volunteers give more than 300 hours of their time every week supporting staff, patients and their families. Our volunteers come with a desire to make a difference to our services and the lives of the people we care for, devoting their knowledge and skills to a wide variety of volunteer roles.” 

Stapleford Care Centre is a partnership of services under one roof and provides health, community and social care services to 26,000 local residents. Services on site include two GP surgeries and a dental surgery, as well as children and young people’s services, midwifery, CAMHS, physiotherapy, podiatry and chaplaincy services. 

If you’re interested in volunteering at Nottinghamshire Healthcare visit:




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