I’ve been a volunteer for about eight years. A friend of mine invited me to one of the Friends’ Events. It was in the Great Hall of the Royal Courts of Justice and as I arrived there was a fanfare of trumpets and I thought, ‘Yes, they realise who’s just come in.’ In reality, the fanfare was announcing the then Lord Chief of Justice who was about to make a speech about the work of the PSU and the vital support that’s needed from the Friends.
I was coming up to retirement and looking at various options of what to do to with my spare time. I joined the Friends that evening. Various people I knew said, ‘Yes, you’re absolutely the right person to be a member of the PSU and you’ll love it’. I started out as member of the Friends and then started to volunteer for the PSU. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
As a volunteer, no two days are the same. The highlight of volunteering for me is the knowledge that you’re helping people who don’t know their way round the law and the intricacies of conducting a case in court. All too often you come back from looking after somebody and you think, ‘If only they had been given access to legal advice, they could have saved themselves a lot of aggravation, the courts a lot of time, and the state a lot of expense.’
I think the fact that we are civilian volunteers, as opposed to court staff, helps the people who come to us. We’re not the bureaucracy, we’re not the red tape, we’re the link in between, and that makes it a very valuable service. The service we provide is so simple when you think about it, but I think that’s what makes it genius. The PSU is a much-needed service and that’s why I decided to leave a gift to them in my Will. It is easy to do – one simply includes it in the list of instructions given to one’s solicitor on making a Will. Leaving a small gift can really do great things within a charity like the PSU.
For more information on leaving a gift in your Will to the PSU, click here.