When 78-year-old Robin Davies jumps into his car to make his weekly journey to Ripon he knows he is in for a day full of surprises.
The retired policeman is a volunteer at Fountains Abbey and says every day is different – with new people from around the world to meet, all with their own tales to tell.
“Being a volunteer is one of the most fulfilling jobs I have ever done,” said Robin. “You never know who you are going to meet that day – they could be from the other side of the world or the other side of Ripon, but everyone is there to see the wonders that Fountains Abbey offers.”
He joined the 300-strong volunteer team at the National Trust property ten years ago. After retiring from North Yorkshire Police, he spent some time as a taxi driver before joining the Harrogate Community Safety Partnership, but when he left there for a local charity he realised how much many areas of the workplace rely on volunteers.
Robin said: “Working for Paperworks opened my eyes to the importance of volunteers. I knew I had to help in some small way. Ten years on I am still at Fountains Abbey – if you love history and the natural world, this is the place to be.”
Some days he can be found greeting visitors in reception, others he will be driving people with mobility issues around the abbey.
“I love meeting people from all walks of life and helping wherever I can. I would recommend volunteering to everyone, whatever their age. It gives me a buzz every time I am at Fountains Abbey,” he added.
Andrew Moss, senior volunteering and community officer at Fountains Abbey, said: “Put simply, we wouldn’t be able to look after our World Heritage Site if it wasn’t for our amazing volunteers.”