Volunteering with the Roker Heritage Group is an invaluable way of engaging with local heritage, learning more about the history of Roker & Seaburn and preserving the legacy of Sunderland's rich maritime heritage. In the second of our occasional series of volunteer profiles, we find out more about the members of our current volunteer team. Today, we say hello to Glenda Young.
Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Glenda Young and I’m from Ryhope. I’m lucky enough to live very close to Seaburn beach now.
How long have you been volunteering with RHG?
I’ve been volunteering for a couple of years now with the group.
How did you find out about volunteering with RHG and what attracted you to the role?
I walked into the RLVB Watch House one weekend when there was an event on about local organisations looking for volunteers. One of those organisations was the Roker Heritage Group and I started chatting to Phil Tweddle (who is now Chair of the Roker Heritage Group) and also to another volunteer called Matthew Gleghorn. I was impressed by their enthusiasm for the project and thought I’d like to get involved too. Living near the sea and the beach means a great deal to me and I wanted to get involved and volunteer for a cause close to my heart.
What have you been doing so far?
As well as attending the monthly meetings, I’ve spent a day at the Tyne and Wear Archives in Newcastle helping to sort and catalogue old charts and documents from the River Wear Commissioners. As a freelance writer, I help with social media, writing blog posts and newsletters. I’ve also been on two trips with the volunteer group - to the Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle and to Killhope Lead Mining Museum to visit their tunnel there. A short story I wrote inspired by the visit to Killhope was longlisted in the Sunderland Short Story Award 2018. And I've also had a short story published in a national magazine that was inspired by the restoration of Roker Pier & Lighthouse.
What more are you looking forward to helping with?
I’m very much looking forward to the official opening of the tours of Roker Pier & Lighthouse. I’m a bit claustrophobic however, so I always knew I wouldn’t be able to volunteer as a tour guide in the tunnel under the pier. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help and volunteer with the Heritage Group as there are lots of other ways in which my writing skills and years of admin and website experience can help.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to volunteer with us?
Do it! Come along to one of the meetings and give it a try. We’re a really friendly bunch and while we do take our monthly meetings seriously, we have a good laugh, a cup of tea and plenty of biscuits too!
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering with us, please visit our Volunteering web page
By Glenda Young
Volunteer, Roker Pier Heritage Group