When Robert and myself took early retirement and moved back to St Andrews, after being away for nearly twenty years, we were very keen to get involved in local volunteering. We had found that, while we were living overseas, volunteering was a great way to meet people and also to give back to the community. So, becoming a member of Friends of Craigtoun was an obvious choice for us.
When we lived in St Andrews we often brought our children up to enjoy the park. I also had fond memories of visiting the Fairy Glen as a child, going on the train and having a wee turn in the boats with my dad. It was always a big occasion in the town when the annual Fireworks Display took place. The park was so well used in those days that I can remember our annual Sunday School picnic being in the park and we thought we were the ‘bees knees’ leaving Holy Trinity Halls in double-decker buses to go to the park. We were so easily pleased, but it’s strange how, even after all these years, children still have a wonderful time at the park enjoying the amenities and fresh air with a good run about!
Volunteers are always needed and much appreciated, it is what has helped keep the park running. Robert usually helps with the maintenance team and general bits and pieces that need attending to in the park, whereas I help Jan and her team in the café and, when needed, assist out in the park at the various amenities. Unfortunately, as a result of Covid, our activities at the park had to be put on hold but we hope to pick them up again later this year.
We would recommend to anyone to consider volunteering to become involved at Craigtoun as it is a great way to meet people and everyone is so friendly. There are also various annual events that you can assist/be involved with, such as the Easter Fayre, Summer Season, Halloween, and Christmas Fayre to mention but a few.
There is really a space for everyone to volunteer in helping, either using skills you already have or learning new ones. Training will be given to you and you can work the hours on the days that are suitable to you. Some volunteers only attend at the special events whereas others have routine hours which suit their life styles.
Postscript from the Friends of Craigtoun:
Gina came into her own playing Mrs Claus, assisting Santa and keeping him right with the names of all the children visiting his grotto at Craigtoun. We very much hope to see her back in that role again this year!