An interview with Shirley Denyer, Welcomer Desk volunteer

I volunteer at the Welcome Desk, welcoming visitors and introducing them to the Cathedral. I help to encourage people to donate, and advertise tours. An important part of my role is ensuring the safety and well being of visitors, and ensuring they are aware of areas they can’t access.

I started volunteering in 2015. I had retired in 2014, and after a “gap year” felt I needed to go out and do something. I thought that volunteering at the Cathedral looked interesting and after seeing the information online, I was introduced to the Information Desk. I was paired up on the Information Desk. During quieter times, I naturally moved towards supporting on the Welcome Desk. I have been very fortunate to make many friends working at the Cathedral. When Paul retired, he then joined me at the Cathedral, doing tower tours and the Soyuz exhibition initially.

I enjoy being around people the most. I have made some good friends as a result of volunteering here. I get to talk to lots of people on the Welcome Desk, asking questions about them and helping people is a big motivation to me. Being able to promote the Cathedral and what I have learnt about it is very important.

If people are looking to apply to volunteer at the Cathedral I would tell them it was well worth coming in and having a chat with someone to see what roles they like the look of. It is a very rewarding and friendly place to volunteer.

I see joyfulness all over the Cathedral. It is a joyous place as soon as you walk in. During Covid, when things seemed dire outside, the Cathedral is a calm constant inside. Visitors often comment on the sense of calm wrapping around them when they enter the Cathedral.


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