Honoured for ploughing back

2016-11-29 06:01
Glorya Alfreds, who volunteers for numerous organisations, with councillor Kevin Southgate after she received a civic honour award last year for helping the community.

Glorya Alfreds, who volunteers for numerous organisations, with councillor Kevin Southgate after she received a civic honour award last year for helping the community.

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Instead of moaning about after being retrenched from her job as a receptionist, a Heathfield resident saw a gap to give back to her community.

After her retrenchment in 1998, Glorya Alfreds took her situation as way to give back to her community. “Instead of sitting at home, I went out there and volunteered my services. I started out at Princess Alice Children’s Hospital where I volunteered for six months with story time for children. I was a library assistant where I helped shelving books and keeping the library stock in order. I also upgraded their control of books via a computerised system. I was using my administrative and artistic skills for the benefit of the children’s corner and the library as a whole,” she says.

Alfreds says being a volunteer is very rewarding. “At the moment I’m the secretary of the Princess Vlei Civic Association. It’s a nice thing to help others and I can’t even mention the networks and relationships built while volunteering. A lot of people would cry that there is no work, yet no-one wants to volunteer. By volunteering already one has a foot in the door. You learn a lot of skills in a voluntary capacity with networking being the greatest of them. Nowadays networking is very important and you can only build a strong network if you volunteer and meet people.”

Alfreds has been acknowledged by the City of Cape Town for her work. Last year she received a civic honour.

“We don’t live for ourselves. People need to plough back into their communities. You have been blessed with skills. Learn to give back. Be of help and service where you can. Imagine if everyone could plough back their skills – everyone teaching each other – what a society we will be living in. We have to empower and equip our youth. Many are roaming the streets without work and volunteering our skills can help them,” she says.

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