Remember the Time…
Our ‘People with Big Hearts’ feature this week is Norrie Rush, long-standing Big Hearts Memories Volunteer. He shares an insight into his role at the Heart of Midlothian’s charity programme and tells us how he benefits from the weekly group.
A retired taxi driver, Norrie became a volunteer with Big Hearts in 2015, he said “I saw an article in the match day programme, advertising for new Volunteers. I had recently recovered from a hip replacement operation and I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I decided I wanted to get involved to help improve the lives of those living with dementia.”
A lifelong Jambo, Norrie has followed the team since 1953. “The Memories Group suited me perfectly. I have a huge collection of memorabilia that I have gathered over the years and I thought it would be very useful for the participants.”
In his early days of being a Volunteer, the Memories Group was held in the old Main Stand. “On the second and last Tuesday of the month, we met in the Bobby Walker suite. When I first went along, I met so many people that I already knew from watching Hearts – it was great to see them all!”
Volunteers have an important role in each Memories Group session, “I regularly make up music quizzes, the group really enjoy them. It’s great for them because it takes participants back to familiar times and it’s lovely to see them sing along and sometimes dance too!”
Each week, the participants and Volunteers look through memorabilia and talk about fond memories they have of following the boys in maroon. “I was really lucky as a Hearts supporter, following the team since the 50’s – I’ve seen league championship’s won and Scottish Cups too. I really get a lot out of being a Big Hearts Volunteer, I love to go through old memorabilia and it’s great to be able to share stories each week with participants. They really benefit from this group and so do the Volunteers too!”
Over the years, the project offered some great days out. “We visited the museum at Hampden Park which was really popular with the group. We have also enjoyed trips to Easter Road to visit their Memories Group and had a tour around Hopetoun House in South Queensferry. It was nice to get out and about and visit new places.”
Norrie really looks forward to a Tuesday afternoon, “I always look forward to sessions each week! Knowing that I am making a difference to someone’s day, really gives you that feel good factor. It’s great being able to contribute to this fantastic programme and getting to know all the participants at the same time!”
Thank you to Norrie for sharing his experience of being a Big Hearts Memories Volunteer and for giving his time each week to improve the lives of others. A true charity champion!
– January 2022