With around 70% of Marriage Cares workforce being made up of women International Women’s Day is a great opportunity for us to thank so many of our volunteers and celebrate their success!
On this special day we want to highlight two volunteers, Glenda Spencer and Tricia Moore, who have been with Marriage Care for over 20 years. They share below about how they first got involved with Marriage Care and their subsequent journey of self discovery, service and making a difference.
Glenda Spencer (pictured) is the Head of Centre at our Ilford and Southend centre and holds a range of other roles including Counsellor, Trainer and Trustee:
I joined the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, later to be called Marriage Care, 27 years ago as a Marriage Preparation Facilitator and two years later I became a Counsellor. The training, love and care I received during what were some of the most difficult times in my life really helped me to be the person I am today.
I can say we are a family of love all striving for the same goal which is to help couples prepare for Marriage and to nurture them through their own journey if they have any problems.
At the heart of my various roles in Marriage Care is my belief that the vows we undertake on the day of Marriage begin a life long journey. After 46 years of Marriage with the loss of my young son at 16, couples need to understand that the promises they make to each other are not fickle but a light burning brightly. When the light flickers and they cannot resolve differences we – Marriage Care – are there for them, we always welcome them to the family of Marriage Care.
When a couple say thank you for a lovely day it makes me happy. When a couple say they want to be a volunteer because Marriage Care helped and they want to give something back or when I get a letter from a priest saying that the couples are very happy with their marriage preparation day I thank God for giving us the gift of love.
Marriage Care has taught me patience, kindness, tolerance, acceptance and love.
Tricia Moore is Acting Head of Centre, Counsellor, Marriage Preparation Facilitator and FOCCUS Facilitator for the Devon and Cornwall Marriage Care centre.
What was your experience of joining Marriage Care like? Beginning with the selection day in 1995, it was remarkable because there was no entry criteria to read up on. I had only to be myself: a role I was not really sure I knew much about! And so began a journey of discovery, with some wonderful people who accepted and liked me as I am, whatever that is. I was supported when I felt vulnerable and celebrated when I achieved. The whole experience of joining the Marriage Care family was transformative.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I have a number of roles: Counsellor, Marriage Preparation Facilitator, FOCCUS Facilitator and currently, acting Head of Centre for Devon and Cornwall. I think perhaps the one I enjoy most is the one I’m doing at the time.
How does your role benefit those you help?
As a Marriage Preparation Facilitator, I know I am providing an invaluable service to engaged couples. As a Counsellor, I am in the privileged position of holding someone’s innermost thoughts and feelings. It’s a humbling experience, and enriching for me, because I know I’m making a difference to people’s lives. I think and hope that they feel they are being supported and accompanied during times of change or difficulty. Then helped to come to new and clear understanding of themselves and where they are in life.
What is the best thing about volunteering with Marriage Care?
Without doubt, the best thing about volunteering with Marriage Care is working with all the likeminded and wonderful people who also volunteer and work for the organisation.