Skip to main content

Give and you will receive

As we start a New Year and a new lockdown, it is OK to feel differently and it is important to look after our physical and mental wellbeing. This week, Commissioner Jane Glover MBE, talks about giving your time to help others.

Several years ago following being made redundant, I was given the opportunity to review my life goals. A former IT and Soft Skills trainer, I decided to follow my heart and do more voluntary work. I wanted to give back to the community I had grown up in and the Island as a whole. 

I was fortunate that my husband supported me as of course it had financial implications for us.

At first I had no idea how I would do this, but things evolved quickly once I started looking. I enrolled to be a volunteer at Age Concern, Port Erin and took over running the youngsters group, ROCK, at Colby Methodist Church.

One of my commitments opened more doors than others – standing to be a Commissioner in my parish.

Once on the board, I was appointed to various committees and joint boards that reached into out to the community. A new gardening group started at Arbory School, GRIN, initiated by Lucy Chapman. She was a novice gardener whereas I loved it so we linked up to develop the scheme. 

Over the last four years I have met more and more people and give any time and knowledge I can to groups.

Commissioners work best at a local level and the horror of Covid-19 shone a spotlight on how communities can benefit from their networks and connections.

Arbory and Rushen Parish authorities were merging a couple of months in to lockdown 2020; they shared a clerk so started working together earlier due to the crisis. 

Graham Clucas, one of the Rushen Commissioners, is a Director of Quing and recognised the need for a co-ordinated scheme to help parishioners shielding or isolating. 

A rallying call for volunteers went out on social media, in the press and through mailings. 

This quickly allowed our hard working clerk, Phil Gawne, to have enough people in place to do regular patrols checking on parishioners.

I admit I was sceptical about the ‘traffic light’ system Graham proposed at first, but this was the most notable success of the Connect Scheme.

It not only helped people practically as they could get shopping and the like done; it gave them ‘peace of mind’ knowing someone was there for them. 

On the flip side, our volunteers fed back to us how much they got out of helping others.

They got physical exercise and a ‘feel good factor’ glow from helping the vulnerable in need.

When you give, you receive. Many of our volunteers told us that they got so much satisfaction out of being useful it boosted their own well-being. 

Volunteers do what they do because they love it – not for recognition or reward. They know the benefits of giving and receiving.

I personally felt this. For me lockdown, although busy, was not unpleasant - in the sense I was out and doing what I like to do most - helping others. 

I organised competitions online, did flower displays outside my local church, worked in the school garden and chatted to the isolated, I could not help smile when I witnessed what a difference it made to people.

Volunteering does not have to be limited to an emergency or crisis period. I passionately believe in building strong and resilient communities. 

If we all gave a little of ourselves to others regularly, it could help prevent some mental and physical illnesses for people.  

Simply being a good neighbour, being vigilant, making a conscious effort to be aware of others around makes a difference. 

A core group of Arbory and Rushen Commissioners’ volunteers have undertaken training since the first lockdown.

Led by Cormac Russell of Nurture Development, the group have learnt about Asset Based Community Development and will be undertaking new ventures and events once lockdown 2.0 ends. Give and You Will Receive.

For further information about Connect in Arbory and Rushen please contact either Jane Glover (email or tel 492010) or our clerk Phil Gawne ( or tel 834501).

For more tools and resources on mental wellbeing visit: