Steve Goudey’s story began with losing his sense of purpose. When he retired, he thought he had everything figured out. But only six months into his retirement, Steve felt lost and was struggling to find a way to make a meaningful difference. After years of being a busy professional, Steve wasn’t used to feeling like he wasn’t needed or that his life lacked direction.
On the day he reached his lowest point, Steve happened to be driving by York Care Centre, a local seniors complex. He decided to stop to see if he might be able to volunteer some of his time. This was a turning point. For the next three months, Steve volunteered at the centre, talking with seniors and really listening to what they needed. He realized what they wanted was to feel connected to their community and a chance to share their wisdom. Even though he had never worked with this age group before, he decided to create a program to deeply engage the seniors, getting them to talk about current events and take a stab at trivia questions. These one-hour sessions covered a wide range of current events, from printing a human heart on a 3D printer to acronyms young people use. Often these debates would include the seniors sharing personal anecdotes and stories from their own lives.
The program was so successful, it became the highlight of the month for many of the residents. For Steve, it gave him a new passion in life. And he didn’t stop there. He expanded the program to include 9 different groups across the community! His participants now range in age from 21 to 95.
Steve has also been recognized as a Senior Goodwill Ambassador by the province and volunteers his time sharing information about health and wellness with other seniors in his community of Fredericton, NB.
The biggest change happened in Steve himself. His self-confidence returned and instead of feeling lost, he was fired up by his new passion: helping people make the most of their retirement. He celebrated seniors as important contributors to our communities and province, and he believed retirement should be a rich time—a time to put the finishing touches on your life story.