Neil Harvey has been a volunteer Collection Box Agent for over two years, with 106 collection boxes on his rounds covering Cardiff, Penarth, Llandough, Caerphilly and Abergavenny. We asked him a few questions about life as a volunteer.
I’ve volunteered for Tŷ Hafan for years, ever since a conversation over a pint in the pub about holding a cricket match for a local charity. The Area Manager for Cardiff at the time mentioned Collection Box volunteering to me and asked me if it was something I’d like to have a go at. I had a meeting with Ken – a lovely man - and never looked back!
Every day is different and brings a new challenge because you’re out and about; you never know who you’re going to meet or where you might end up. The other week I went to drop off some new boxes in Ely – I went in not knowing who anyone there was and by the time I came out I felt like I’d known them for years!
Definitely! Some days I finish my rounds and my feet ache but then I think of the kids over in the hospice and how I’m helping them, and that spurs me on. I remember my first ever trip to the hospice. We were taken to see Room 10, and told that the little girl who was using the room may not last the week. I remember seeing a Boyzone Greatest Hits CD in the room, and that image and how I felt that day has stayed with me all these years. Being a Collection Box Agent has become part of my life now. I love it.
Neil’s cricket matches are still going strong and have become an annual event in the Blackweir Tavern’s calendar. This year’s is being held on Sunday 24 August kicking off at 11:00am in Blackweir Park, just off North Road in Cardiff. After the raffle, it's back to the pub for a BBQ and charity raffle, with all proceeds going to Tŷ Hafan. All children are welcome, there's no entry fee to pay and no tickets required - just turn up on the day!