Humans of Brighton – Peter the Volunteer

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Hi, I’m Peter.

How would you describe yourself? Retired, bored, and looking for something to do. Haha, not exactly pretty but, yeah.

What do you want out of life? I want to repay society for the good I’ve had out of it, which is why I’m a volunteer here [Pavilion Gardens], and I want to be a volunteer at the local hospital, but they don’t have any volunteers at the moment. So I’m a volunteer up in Redhill as well.

How long have you been a volunteer at the Pavilion Gardens? I’ve been a volunteer now for about two-and-a-half years. I used to do two half days, I now do one full day per week.

What do you get out of it? The satisfaction of looking back and seeing all the – I live around here so I visit the gardens very, very regularly – and I just love what comes to life! It’s brilliant – you start in the winter time, you prune everything, get it ready for spring, in spring – there’s an explosion of colours! It’s brilliant. It’s just such a lovely place to walk in, and don’t forget it’s a garden – not a park, I love it.

Do you have a favourite section within the gardens? I love the fact I can wander around the different paths, and find a different bit that I find exciting and new, and every week you find something else that is coming to life. So no, I don’t have a favourite bit, I love all of them for different reasons, and in different seasons, I love the gardens.

How long have you been living in Brighton? About eight years now.

What attracted you to the area? I originally came down here because I didn’t know anybody, and I didn’t want to know anybody, but, of course, it’s a small community and you soon get to know people, and suddenly your world opens up for you. I love the cafe society, I love the theatre, and I love the gardens.

I just got lucky, I came to Brighton and I fell in love with it. One of my sons used to come down here regularly, and I thought – why on earth did he come down? I now know why.

I mean, I don’t need the clubs and all that, but I do like the fact that I can go to my home and it’s totally peaceful and quiet, and I can come down here and it’s hustle and bustle and it’s brilliant. It’s got everything you could want – quiet, or hectic.

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What makes Brighton unique? I think it’s unique because of its mix of older society and the younger society – there are the universities, the colleges, the students that come through here, and the fact that you’ve got history everywhere, and the brand new bits that are springing up forever. It changes so regularly.

 Photo and interview by Marc Kis

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