“Croydon Vision will have to start charging me rent soon, as I want to move in!” R Johnson

In our September 2023 Impact report, we shine a spotlight on Janet Broughton and her remarkable journey with Croydon Vision. When we delved into her background and asked about her motivations, she shared her heartfelt story:

“I’ve always been drawn to working with people, connecting face-to-face. I genuinely believe I’m a ‘people person.’ Having had a career in banking, I witnessed how many individuals grapple with loneliness amidst high-pressure jobs. Sometimes, all they need is someone to lend an ear. Later on, I transitioned to working at Croydon University Hospital, specifically in the eye unit, dedicating 13 years of my life to the cause. In 2016, I retired, but I wasn’t ready to step away from giving back to my community. I just wasn’t sure where to begin. That’s when I heard about Croydon Vision through Maria Stirling, one of the volunteers.”

Over the years, Janet has seen Croydon Vision transform and evolve in a more positive direction. She has found her niche within the organization and speaks passionately about her experience:

“Since joining Croydon Vision, I’ve come to cherish the connections I’ve made with fellow volunteers and members alike. It feels like I’m part of a big, welcoming family. I’ve been an active member since 2018 or even earlier, and it’s given me a renewed sense of purpose. The bonds I’ve forged with people here are truly special.”

Janet’s journey at Croydon Vision began with her involvement in the Touch group led by Claire White. Today, she spearheads the quiz group, organizing engaging activities for around 15 members:

“Our group activities, be it math, word games, or quizzes, are all about fostering interaction and camaraderie. We enjoy lunch together, share a good laugh, and form lasting friendships. One memorable incident was when I organized a Barbie Quiz, and at first, no one was keen. But afterward, we had such a great time that some members even expressed interest in attending a Barbie event in the U.S. It’s moments like these that make our group truly special.”

Balancing volunteer work with other commitments can be challenging, but Janet has found the right support system:

“Many volunteers, including myself, juggle other responsibilities like work and family. It’s become easier for me to strike a balance, thanks to my incredibly supportive husband. Without his understanding and encouragement, it would be difficult to continue helping others. Support from loved ones is vital in our journey as volunteers.”

When asked about her advice for those considering volunteering for Croydon Vision or a similar cause, Janet wholeheartedly encourages them to take the leap:

“If you’re contemplating volunteering with Croydon Vision, don’t hesitate. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience, and you’ll never look back. Reach out to the staff, have a conversation, and discover how volunteering can add purpose to your life. It’s a journey worth taking.”

In closing, Janet extends her gratitude:

“Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story, and I hope it resonates with you. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to meet and work alongside all of you. Together, we can continue making a meaningful impact.”

Janet’s story is a testament to the power of volunteering and the profound connections that can be forged through selfless service. Her journey with Croydon Vision is a source of inspiration for all who aspire to make a difference in their communities.