Volunteers' Week 2019: Barbara Goodman


We are so lucky to have so many incredible volunteer visitors, and we simply can’t do enough to celebrate them and their work.

Hear from one of Turn2us’ longest serving volunteer visitors, the wonderful Barbara Goodman.

"I have been a volunteer for over 25 years, firstly for the Distressed Gentlefolks' Aid Association (DGAA), then Elizabeth Finn and now Turn2us.

"I became a volunteer because an old family friend was retiring from her role and asked me if I would take it over - and I agreed! I was teaching part time and therefore had time to fit in visits whilst looking after three young children and a GP husband.

"My volunteering involves a home visit to grant recipients and then a follow-up visit every year, when requested. I send in a written report to the caseworker each time after the visit. And I try to do this on the same day or the next day so that I remember the details. In the past, I have done as many as 17 visits a year but now this number is greatly reduced. As a visitor, I find out what the circumstances and difficulties are of the applicant, and assess what help Turn2us can give to make their life easier."

Memorable visits

"The highlights are undoubtedly meeting such diverse and interesting people, with stories, not only of hardship and difficulty, but in many cases of great spirit and enterprise to cope with their situation.

"I have met people who have had big positions in their work life and lost their jobs through mental illness or family situations. I have visited families who are coping with seriously disabled children who are part of a larger family and have to have day-to-day care, which involves one parent at least leaving a well-paid job.

"A memorable visit was to a disabled woman who had a helping dog, who could open her doors and put her washing in and do many other tasks.

"Another woman I visited had a crippling long-term condition which has ruled her life for years, forcing her to give up her profession and live on a special diet. Her flat is inspirational as she has an amazing flair for colour and design and is surrounded by brightness, despite her unremitting illness.

"In all the visits, they are all pleased to see me, and look forward to my next visit."

"Go for it"

"I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering for Turn2us is “go for it”. You will enter worlds that you have never encountered before and meet very diverse people who need help. You may also meet people who you don’t take to at first but often, on hearing their stories, you appreciate their needs. I still enjoy doing the visits, although at my age I am not sure how long I can continue!"

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about our volunteering opportunities, visit the volunteering section of our website or contact us via or call: 020 8834 9218.

* Distressed Gentlefolks Aid Association and Elizabeth Finn Care are previous names for Turn2us.