Making the most of my retirement Whatever the weather, it is always a good time to make a new friend. Paul is one of our wonderful volunteers who decided nine years ago that after six months of retirement and bad weather, that he would make a difference not only to his own life, but to the lives of others too. Paul remembers the moment he decided to sign up: ‘I needed some structure in my life and I wanted to make some sort of contribution to society’ and stresses that the ‘pretty miserable’ weather ‘didn’t help!’ - But he wasn’t going to let that stop him. ‘I’ve enjoyed meeting other people and making new friendships. I’ve learnt a lot about how to make the most of retirement from the experience of others as well as having (the very important) feeling of making a small difference to other people’s lives’. That ‘small difference’ that each of our volunteers make to the lives of our beneficiaries continuously makes a big difference in ensuring that we all keep endeavouring to learn from each other and make new friends at every stage of life – and ultimately, make the world a less lonely place: ‘I’ve learned quite a few things (including more about myself). People I phone or visit really do seem to appreciate the effort you’ve made and it can be a bit of a reality check to sometimes ‘put yourself in their shoes’’. At the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship, we offer all of our beneficiaries our two befriending services – the National Visitors Network: for setting up a regular visitor who will make home visits to the beneficiaries house and our Phone Buddy Scheme: which ensures that our beneficiaries can rely on a regular phone call from one of our volunteers and get to know them over time. If Paul has inspired you to make a friend to make a difference, then call us on: 020 8691 7411 or if you prefer, send us an email at: [email protected]and become a CSRF Volunteer or Beneficiary today.