NEW LIFE: Volunteering within the community gave Margaret Grayson a new lease on life.
NEW LIFE: Volunteering within the community gave Margaret Grayson a new lease on life. Jonno Colfs

A DAY IN THE LIFE - Margaret Grayson

FOR more than 50 years Margaret Grayson suffered from a horrible shyness, but thanks to a volunteer role in the Warwick community, she discovered a new lease on life.

"My dad was very outgoing,” Mrs Grayson said.

"I must have got it from my mother, I didn't find out until much later but she had been terribly shy as a child as well.”

Despite living a block from the local school growing up in St George, Mrs Grayson said her mother literally had to drag her out of school each day to get her to go. Once I was there I guess I was okay, I was able to make friends, and had a lot of family as well, but new situations and new people was always hard to deal with.”

In 2004, with her husband's retirement, Mrs Grayson had a two choices.

"The accountants said I could either stay home and live off the retirement fund or go out and find some work,” she said.

"So that's what I decided to do. I'd been at home since the early 1980s when we'd moved to Warwick.

"Looking after the children growing up and only a little volunteering at school from time-to-time, it had been a little isolating after so long.

"It was time to get go and do something.”

Mrs Grayson enrolled at Tafe and completed computing and bookeeping courses before heading off to find work of some kind.

'I then started at the Australian Red Cross store as a volunteer about the same time,” she said.

"I've been here for nine years now so I must be doing something right. But this place changed my life, there's no doubt about it.

"It was a breath of fresh air to get out and do something and make new friends.”

Mrs Grayson said compared to her old self she was a social butterfly these days.

"Two days a week I'm in here in the shop,” she said.

"Meeting customers, making new friends and chatting with all our regulars.

"I love it - and getting to work with all different ladies from the community. It's the best thing I've ever done.”



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