Janet Crame – One of our “Village People” – Wraysbury & Horton Voluntary Care
Janet: Janet Crame
Interviewer: What is the name of the organisation you represent?
Janet: Wraysbury & Horton Voluntary Care
Interviewer: Remembering the other “Village People” disco band of 1980s which one were you? (Which costume did you see yourself in?)
Janet: Jeans! I didn’t identify with any of them.
Interviewer: How long have you lived in the village?
Janet: I’ve lived here for ever (all my life with a few breaks in between). I was born here, and here I still am!
Interviewer: Who do you live with (partner/children/parents/pets/plants etc)?
Janet: All of the above (except parents, the children come and go…)
Interviewer: What was the first record (single,LP,tape or CD) you bought?
Janet: The first cut is the deepest (Pepe Arnold)
Interviewer: What is your all time favourite film, and why?
Janet: Bambi – Because it’s about all the drama, and violence I can cope with in a film. I watch films to relax.
Interviewer: When did you start this activity?
Janet: Sometime in the 1980’s I don’t remember exactly.
Interviewer: What inspired / triggered you to do this?
Janet: My mother – she did the Voluntary care bit first; asked me to take it over literally on her death bed. I had already started to deliver Meals on Wheels, but realised they only supplied 3 days a week and never at Christmas or holidays so we started to add our own days of cooking. We ended up taking over the whole thing. (It’s much more elongated and complicated than that; this is a precis!). The lunch club was triggered by the realisation that for many people, meal time is a place set for one, on a table in front of a window or TV; and that’s it. Food and conversation go together and make life more fun. Voluntary Care transport and general help trundled on quietly for years, and then the local pharmacist got involved, he thought that lots of younger people would make it all better and we re-launched it, adding the help-line. Then came Covid so we managed to enlist the help of lots more volunteers, – but predictably, many fell by the way-side and so most of the same people are still doing the same stuff quietly in the background.
Interviewer: What is your all time favourite book and why?
Janet: The Vintners Wife – (its about a fallen angel..)
Interviewer: Please explain exactly what the activities you do?
|• Mobile lunch club – every week-day
• Weekly Lunch Club in the Wraysbury Village Hall – Thursdays
• Coffee morning in The Hub – Wednesdays
• Our new Coffee morning in Champney Hall – Mondays
• Handling service for food donations which we then deliver to Foodshare in Windsor
• Transport to medical appointments
• Shopping for the house-bound – purchase and delivery
• Help with house-hold chores
• Helpline advice and support
• Confidential ad hoc hands-on help and support where needed
Janet: A bigger permanent kitchen. We used to use my kitchen at home, and now use the village hall, but because it is a shared space it adds challenges, and we struggle for space sometimes.
Interviewer: Describe your typical day, from the time you wake up, to the time you typically get to bed.
Janet: Teasmade. Let the dogs out; check phone/iPad for emails and messages. wash; dress;make-up; hair if I remember. Make the bed. Sort out washing; empty dishwasher. make coffee. assemble food and paper-work. Feed/take dogs for walk. Assemble all the food/paperwork I have forgotten, including checking fridges/freezers. Load into car. Drive to Village Hall. Prepare, cook, serve. Clear up. Deliver food when needed. write up notes for next day. Go to Village to pay bills or collect food, stuff from chemist, Pennyfields. Drive home. Empty car. Find something for lunch for whomever is at home. Take mug of tea and snack to study:life admin; WHVC paperwork; respond to all the outstanding emails from people who want me to do things. Feed take dogs for a walk. Prepare and cook supper. collapse in front of TV with large glass of wine. On a good day, maybe get to do some work in the greenhouse or garden and/or go out to dinner or concert. Try to get to bed before 11:20. Rarely successful.
Interviewer: Where would your dream holiday be? & Why?
Janet: Sailing in West Indies or Greece. My husband and I love sailing and have had several fantastic trips, it’s a great escape.
Interviewer: Presumably your achievement wasn’t all plain sailing, what was the low point? (excuse the unintended pun!)
Janet: There are constant low points – the people we care for rarely get better.
Interviewer: ..and the high point?
Janet: The highpoint happens most days when things go well.
Interviewer: What motivates you to keep going?
Janet: Appreciative comments from helpers and clients. Smiles.
Interviewer: Do you have a goal in sight, or specific metric by which you will achieve what you dreamt of…?
Janet: Getting the charity and its activities to a stage when I know it can continue, specifically without me.
Interviewer: How important do you think it is that you are based in Wraysbury/Horton villages, has that affected your success?
Janet: Not important. What we do is needed everywhere.
Interviewer: Do you have a message for your neighbours, friends and the wider local community?
Janet: Please volunteer to help us. Volunteering is very rewarding… To those that already give there time to help WHVC, a big heartfelt thank-you.
Janet: A bird – it would be great to be able to soar above everything.
Interviewer: Anything else we should know?
Janet: This interview has been produced under duress….because WHVC is about all the people who volunteer to help in so many ways, as well as those who we try to benefit. Hopefully what we do speaks for itself.