The Accidental Volunteer


2009032020090630Sian Parri Huws visits Rhayader in Mid Wales which at first glance seems to be run entirely by volunteers. From the retired ladies who help out in the local charity shop to St John Ambulance volunteers, many towns and villages - particularly in rural areas - are increasingly left to depend on such people to provide essential services.

But for the army of people giving up their time for free, it can also be an addictive activity, a passion which can take over their whole life - as well as contributing a staggering 40 billion pounds to the economy.

Sian meets one such volunteer, Caroline John, who initially intended to help out on a local committee for a few hours a year but who is now in charge of a whole building, a staff of seven and has to deal with the many questions and queries which make up the everyday life of an 'accidental volunteer'.

sian pari huws visits Rhayader in Mid Wales which seems to be run entirely by volunteers. Like many communities, it increasingly depends on such people for essential services.