Vince Hemment’s Volunteering
We are incredibly grateful at Stoll to have the support of many dedicated volunteers, willing to give up their time to provide vital help with many of our ongoing health and wellbeing programmes. Vince Hemment has been volunteering with Stoll for two years, and earlier this week sat down with us via Zoom to discuss his work with us, other volunteering he’s been involved with and his family’s connection to the Armed Forces.
Prior to the lockdown, Vince had been involved in numerous ways with Stoll, running bike maintenance training, helping to organise Veteran-led trips and events, and joining us for our coffee mornings. Vince started volunteering with us after our Health and Wellbeing Manager George joined Stoll, with the two having worked previously together on a number of different projects.
Vince told how he met George when he had been working at St Mungo’s, a start-up with a bike workshop, running the administration and accounts. On the last day after five years they were about to close down when they received a phone call from George, looking for someone to run a bike maintenance programme at a YMCA on Dingwall Road in Croydon. Luckily for Vince, he happened to be the one to pick up the phone and has been working alongside George since. Initially, he helped arranged courses for him down on Dingwall Road, and was keen to get their benefactors involved in RideLondon, which Vince has been a marshal with for 5 years now.
Vince had managed to get the bike maintenance training up and running at Stoll and was working with our Veterans closely so that they eventually would lead the classes themselves. Unfortunately, when the virus hit it was only the second day of the second session, and a prior to the official lockdown coming into place the classes were put on hold.
However, with Covid-19 forcing the temporary halt to his bike maintenance training, Vince has been instrumental to our Health and Wellbeing Team in the form of IT Support. In the past month, the team have been procuring new tablets and laptops for distribution to our Veterans so more of them can take part on the online activity classes that we are currently running in conjunction with Chelsea FC Foundation. Vince has been working hard to download both Zoom and Skype onto our new laptops.
Having retired at 50, Vince has been heavily involved with a number of charity projects throughout his life from the age of 25 when he was a leader at a youth club to today where he also volunteers with Croydon Council Young Offenders, doing similar bike restoration programmes, and has taught IT part time at Croydon College during his retirement.
Vince spoke to us proudly about his involvement with Stoll and of his father’s own military background. His father had been in the Royal Artillery during World War II, serving throughout the war mostly in Italy, having joined at the age of 18. Having met Vince’s mother in Italy during the war, they were wed in 1945, before the young couple moved back to Britain in 1946.
We would like to thank Vince for taking the time to sit down with us and for all of his fantastic work with Stoll. If you are interested in volunteering with Stoll, please email us at Wellbeing@stoll.org.uk