There are few volunteers at Bluebell Wood with a backstory as colourful as BBC Radio Sheffield host, Rev Andrew Platts.
The multi-talented man of the cloth’s impressive CV includes appearances on Top of the Pops, a critically acclaimed classical album and a later-life reinvention as a minister on the airwaves.
Now Andrew, 62, is plugging into his past and his lifelong passion for music as a volunteer at Bluebell Wood’s youth group for those aged 14 - 25.
He said: “Originally discussions were centered on me forming a pastoral role of some description.
“But then I became involved in the youth group. I’m open to use my pastoral experience if that’s what people wan.
“But I’m not here to convert anyone, just to chat and share my experiences and to have some fun.”
Growing up in a musical household in Sheffield, Andrew followed generations before him by joining the Chapeltown Brass band.
He was then an member of Jimmy James and the Vagabonds and appeared on Top of the Pops as well as playing sold-out venues up and down the country.
He reflected: “It was a great time and I recognise that I was deeply fortunate to be doing what I was doing as many never get that opportunity.
After getting married in 1980, he became a senior manager for a large UK PLC, before launching his own business, a chemical firm called Amity, in 1990.
The firm was interested in looking for greener chemical alternatives, and even worked with the Industrial Development arm of the United Nations.
His foray into the chemical industry lasted 25 years, but music was never far away from his mind.
In the 1990s he set up his own record label, which led to his classical theatre ensemble, Harlequin Brass, being awarded Classical FM CD of the year.
His ecclesiastical journey began in 2012, following the death of his mum.
A small inheritance allowed him the freedom to retrain, and just over three years later he was officially ordained.
Andrew’s now helmed hundreds of services, weddings and funerals as well as hosting a show on BBC Radio Sheffield once a month.
But he confesses to ‘name-dropping’ Bluebell Wood on his varied platforms to ensure people are aware of the charity’s life-changing work.
He said: “My overall impression of Bluebell Wood is what a happy place it is, so full of joy and fun” said Andrew.
To find out more about the varied volunteering opportunities at Bluebell Wood, click here or call 01909 508116.