Meet Marjorie Dunford, OSJCT's oldest volunteer at 95 years of age.
Marjorie Dunford instantly lifts the mood when she enters a room. She is charming and witty,and at 95 years of age, she is our oldest volunteer at The Orders of St John Care Trust. Marjorie has a cheeky side, often leaving unsuspecting visitors to the home in the dark about her role, who believe she is a resident.
Marjorie visits Athelstan House in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, almost every Sunday for the last eight years, and has only missed two Sundays in that time.. She helps with the Home’s church service, and takes great care in preparing the room; setting up the books, getting cushions and stools for those who need them, and sings all the hymns at the top of her lungs to encourage the quieter residents to join in. Approximately 20 residents attend the service each week, and after the service Marjorie ensures everything is tidied. Then she assists the residents back to their homes.
“It makes me feel good,” Marjorie said. “I think they look forward to my volunteering. It’s better to give than to receive.”
Marjorie has always been extremely dedicated to her commitments, and started her career as a nurse maid. Marjorie went on to work for Echo Radio during the war, and dedicated the next 25 years of her life to them. Marjorie also diligently visits her sister who is a resident at Athelstan House every Thursday.
Marjorie is extremely active and agile, with a particular interest in cycling. As Marjorie grew older, her family had concerns about this hobby, so she’s stopped cycling now, but it was her bicycle that brought her to volunteer in the first instance. One day, she was pushing her bike along, and a layman stopped her to ask why she was pushing her bike instead of riding it. Marjorie explained that it was very windy which made it difficult to ride, the tyres were flat. The layman explained that he visited Athelstan, and she thought it would be a lovely idea to join him, and she’s been there ever since.
Marjorie has played a vital part in helping the Athelstan Museum with their research into the history of Malmesbury . Her local knowledge has been captured on audio for visitors.
Marjorie is a very special asset to The Orders of St John Care Trust, and in particular, to Athelstan House. We thank her for her support and dedication.