My Brightwell volunteering story – by Guy Rolls

My name is Guy and I have been volunteering at The Brightwell as an oxygen operator since February 2022, a year or so after I retired from a career as an analyst with a large IT firm.  I am in my late 50s, have lived in Bradley Stoke for 24 years, and my wife and I raised our two daughters here.

When I am not at The Brightwell, I spend a lot of time playing Pickleball at the Jubilee Centre or Thornbury Leisure Centre. (See the article about Pickleball in last month’s Bradley Stoke Voice for more details.)

I found out about volunteering at The Brightwell from a post on Facebook and it struck a chord with me as a chance to give something back to the community. 

While the role is not as technical as my paid work, it appeals to me because we have to follow detailed safety procedures, as you would expect, when as many as seven members are in a sealed chamber breathing nearly pure oxygen at pressures of up to two atmospheres. Another benefit is that being in Wheatfield Drive it is local, so I can walk there in 25 minutes.

I have definitely learned new skills and an insight into a whole new area of treatment. I am pretty sociable, so an added bonus is that the staff and other volunteers are all lovely, and I have built relationships with the regulars at my weekly four-hour shifts. 

The most rewarding part of volunteering at The Brightwell is seeing members with neurological conditions coming out of the oxygen chamber feeling better, and appreciating my work providing their treatment in a safe and secure environment.

The oxygen treatment could not continue without volunteers, so I am very proud to be a small part of the great work that is done at The Brightwell – and I would encourage others to join me in a worthwhile role which is a bit out of the ordinary.  

There is loads of support for newcomers and all the processes are well documented.

If you would like to volunteer for a local worthwhile charity, The Brightwell currently has opportunities for oxygen chamber operators and also for helpers in their new café area, serving drinks and chatting to members. If you can spare anything from four hours a week or more, please call 01454 201686 to ask for Doro, or email