What to do with the last third of your life?

It was my huge privilege to be one of the judges for the WRVS Diamond Champions award, whose Wales ceremony was held in Cardiff City Hall on Monday.

Diamond Champions are people over the age of 60 who have shown outstanding volunteer work.  Our task was to identify just ten volunteers from the hundreds nominated who would represent Wales at the national award ceremony in St James Palace next month.  All those who attended the Cardiff event received a specially designed Diamond Champions pin and certificate signed by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

You can get a sense of the event from the photos here http://www.wrvs.org.uk/get-involved/diamond-champions/wales

But what you wont see in the pictures is the quite staggering breadth and depth of volunteering that these people represent.  They – and tens of thousands more like them across Wales – do small things that make a real difference to people.  And such volunteering is also good for the volunteer, providing added meaning  to their daily lives.

Most of us can now expect to live to about 90, and many of us will hope to retire in our 60s.  So that leaves almost of a third of your life after paid work finishes.  There cant be many better ways of spending those final decades!

Written by Professor Marcus Longley

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