Gerald's ten years of 'fantastic' volunteering
CARING for his late wife brought Gerald Towers into contact with the "Live at Home" scheme in Mickleover ten years ago – and he has not given up helping out there since.
Gerald, who is 85, volunteers for the group which helps older people get out and about.
And his work there, as well as in the wider community, has led to him being nominated for a Community Champions award.
Gerald, of Western Road, said: "My wife, Joyce, had Alzheimer's and I started taking her to the lunches to get her out of the house.
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"When she died, which was just a couple of months before our 50th wedding anniversary, I just kept helping out. I do bits of driving, basically I do anything they ask me."
It was at the scheme that Gerald met Joy Curzon, for whom he now cares.
He said: "When we first met she was just colour blind but now she can only tell light from dark.
"I drive her to the shops, the doctors and the lunches, basically wherever she wants to go.
"She also moved house recently and I helped her there."
Gerald was also one of the founder members of the Mickleover Carers' Group as well as being a part of the Alzheimer's Society.
He was nominated by another volunteer at the group, Kath Ratcliff.
She said: "For ten years he has done such fantastic work in the community.
"How he looks after Mrs Curzon is fantastic and he is a great volunteer at the lunches too. He is always there when anyone needs to a helping hand."
But Gerald does not feel he is doing anything out of the ordinary.
He said: "I think that if I can do something for somebody else then why shouldn't I?
"I don't do as much as I used to because I am getting older and I can't physically.
"But I meet some very nice people and really I get as much out of it as possible."
The Mickleover Live at Home scheme is one of nine such projects supporting pensioners in Derby.
They were launched by the MHA Care Group in the early 1980s but, without volunteers, the schemes can struggle.
The Mickleover group has a lunch club at the British Legion, in Western Road, every Tuesday and at St John's Church Hall every other Thursday.