25 Faces of Volunteering - CLD Inverclyde


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CLD Inverclyde would like to thank their volunteers for their commitment and support over this difficult year.


Please tell us about CLD Inverclyde?

Community Learning and Development (CLD) offers a wide range of educational services across Inverclyde. Our main areas of learning focus on Employability, Adult Literacies Support, English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) language acquisition, Family Learning, Health and Well-being and Digital Inclusion. Our services are free and open to anyone living or working in Inverclyde.   Learners are supported by both staff and volunteers to identify and work towards their learning goals.  

Why do you include volunteers?

Volunteers are an integral part of the CLD provision – we wouldn’t be able to offer the level of support to learners that we do without their input and support.   Volunteers will undergo initial training with CLD and have the opportunity to visit learning sessions before they are placed with learners within the learning sessions. This gives them an excellent grounding in the CLD approach.

How does CLD support their volunteers?

As well as ongoing support, volunteers can attend regular meetings with the group tutors and volunteer co-ordinators to discuss the work they are supporting learners with, their own progress within the organisation and also to identify any training needs.   Some volunteers have also supported the induction of new volunteers into provision, providing an input into initial training.

Volunteers are consulted on changes to CLD provision and asked to put forward suggestions for course delivery, possible training opportunities etc. Volunteers are also consulted on volunteer programme development, have the option to attend Team Meetings, internal and external CPD training opportunities and input into CVS Inverclyde developments (such as the Volunteering Strategy).

Tell us about your volunteers?

The Adult Learning, Literacies and ESOL volunteers provide invaluable support to CLD learners within the local communities of Inverclyde. Their commitment and enthusiasm contribute to the quality learning experience the Service is able to provide and the wealth of skills and experience they bring to the CLD Service is phenomenal and benefits CLD Tutors and learners alike. Volunteer involvement has meant that CLD has been able to expand services even where there have been budget restrictions.

People become volunteers with CLD for a variety of reasons. Some are retired and want to give something back by working with others in their local communities and some are employed and want to develop their skills in another field. Others are looking to return to employment and see this volunteering role as an excellent way of developing their skills set and experience.

Learners within the groups can often have barriers to learning and the volunteers play an integral part in establishing trust and encouraging the learners to settle within their sessions and complete accreditation by demonstrating empathy and patience with all the learners they support.      

Comments from learners themselves illustrate just how important the volunteers are.

“They make me want to go on and learn more.”

“My volunteer has been very supportive, helping me understand my maths, giving me great support and that means so much.”

“I have hardly done any writing since school which is about 22 years ago.   The volunteers here have helped me a lot with refreshing my memory.”

“The volunteer has helped me greatly. I started the class with no computer skills or experience as I don’t have one at home.”

“They’ve given me lots of help and encouragement to achieve my goals and gain my SQA qualifications.”

Interested in Volunteering for CLD please contact:

Tricia Donaghy & Mark Frith – Volunteer Co-ordinators

Community Learning & Development

Inverclyde Council

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

01475 715450

25 Faces of Volunteering - Allan Drewery


Allan is an active volunteer for both Victim Support Scotland & CLD Inverclyde Council and enjoy supporting people from various background to make a difference in their lives and our local community.

Tell us about your volunteering?

I have been volunteering since 2016 for both Victim Support Scotland and CLD Inverclyde Council. My role with Victim Support Scotland allows me to support anyone who is going through a stressful and complicated period of their life. In my CLD role I am normally supporting people to move on with their lives by offering support with literacies skills.

Why do you volunteer?

In 2016, I was heading into retirement with a long road ahead of me and my wife Sadie volunteered, so I decided that I would do the same. I enjoy helping a variety of people from different backgrounds and seeing them develop and move on.

I have also undergone training for both my volunteering roles and this has provided me with the tools to support service users in both roles. Also, life experience certainly helps!

What do you gain from volunteering?

I find volunteering very rewarding and more importantly I enjoy giving back to the community. I believe that our community supports us through our life and we should take the time to support our community.

In 2018 I was fortunate to be nominated as a finalist for CVS Inverclyde’s Community Award as the Volunteer of the Year. I was delighted and humbled by this nomination.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

If you want to give back to your community, why wouldn’t you volunteer. I support, develop and help people and see them moving on with their lives, to hopefully a better life. Why wouldn’t you want to make a difference to someone’s life and make an impact in your local community.


You could help make a difference in your community and feel the benefits that volunteering brings, have a look at the Volunteer Inverclyde website and register as a volunteer now: Register here to access hundreds of volunteering opportunities in your area (

25 Faces of Volunteering - The Inverclyde Bothy

Meet our Volunteers Bothy TW

The Bothy is Inverclyde's home of walking and cycling presented in association with Cycling UK and Smarter Choices, Smarter Places and Paths for All for a healthier, happier and cleaner Inverclyde.

How do you include volunteers in your organisation?

Currently we have a very active team of Health Walk Leader volunteers.  These volunteers are crucial to the activities that we deliver and enable us to deliver more walks in more locations across Inverclyde.   Many of our Health Walks are led solely by our trained volunteers. 

Our volunteers all undertake Paths for All Walk Leader training prior to leading walks.  They welcome walkers to the group, ensure that routes are checked and safe and generally encourage and support walkers to get and to stay active.     They ensure the pace and distance is right for anyone who comes along and offer support and encouragement to all.  Our walkers are 

a very varied bunch of people – age ranges and physical abilities can vary enormously and our dedicated volunteers ensure that our walks are inclusive to all. They play a key role in ensuring the walks we offer a friendly, welcoming, and suitable for all.   The atmosphere they create on walks is what makes them a success and what makes people return week after week.

As well as leading walks, volunteers are invited to contribute to the development of the project through regular volunteer team meetings (online since Covid), through participation in our Health Walk Network Steering Group and through engagement with the wider Health Walk Network across Scotland (for example by attending the national Paths for All annual conference).

Why did you choose this team, individual or group of volunteers?

Our Health Walks would not be possible without our trained volunteers. They allow us to deliver a weekly programme of walks and are very much an essential part of ‘team Bothy’.  

Our volunteers all enjoy regular walking, but more importantly they enjoy sharing the joy and benefits of regular walking with their wider community. They lead our walks safely whilst ensuring that all walkers are made welcome and feel included.  

They have gone above and beyond to 

help us keep the walks going during the pandemic and each time walks did have to be paused they were ready to re-start as soon as restrictions allowed.   They have been willing to adapt as required – we now run a booking system and more small group walks – and to ensure that we have kept delivering while ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

They all bring their own individual style, personalities, interests and backgrounds to the walks and as a team they really support one and another.   That was even more evident during the lockdown periods when that team spirit was on display through our volunteer Facebook group and during our regular Zoom sessions.

They make my job as Health Walk Co-ordinator a pleasure – and I don’t think you can ask for anything more than that!

How are you celebrating Volunteers' Week?

We often go for a group walk when we want to have a group celebration or get together, especially since Covid has limited our other options, but we fancy a wee change this time! So this year we are organising a team building event and it looks like we might all be playing lawn Bowls for a change. Whatever we do we always try to ensure that as many of our volunteer team as possible can take part and we use it as a chance to say thank you for all of the hard work and commitment our volunteers put into their role as Walk leaders.


Find out more about the work of The Inverclyde Bothy by visitng their Facebook page: (1) The Inverclyde Bothy | Facebook


25 Faces of Volunteering - James Zander

James Zander


James was awarded CVS Inverclyde Young Volunteer of the Year 2015 and continues to fundraise for causes close to his heart. He shares with us how his volunteering has made a difference in his life.

Tell us about your volunteering

Volunteering is likea job, it helps you gain theexperience you need to walk into any job and helps youwith social interaction and develops your perspective. I particularly volunteered for Indepen-dance andThe BeaconsCreatability programme.I worked with people on all ranges of the spectrum and helped aid people with disabilities, never did I thinkit was going to particularly help me in securing a permanent roleas a Home Carer.

I helped people create dance routines, went out of my comfort zone to lead and help devise a show in 9 weeks with Aerial and different movements incorporated into all of this. Igot to perform with the different companies in Glasgow, it was important that I was a friend to all who needed me and I really tried to bring peopleout of their shell.

Isaw so much developmentin those 9 weeks and it was heart throbbing, people that I worked with over that little time still speak to me if theysee me, they're notshy anymore and I got to see a miracle.

I was then nominated for the CVS 2015 Award and was lucky to be awarded

Why do you volunteer?

I have always had an interestin seeing life from different perspectives and angles, the world has so much to offer, and the stories we share - that are passed on - are invaluableto developing and becoming a stronger/better person, spiritually and physically.Iwould regret and would miss too many opportunities in my life ifIhad not volunteered, andit has helped me in growing and having a promising career - with more stability and knowledge.

I believe there is a life lesson to be learnedin volunteering and its work will help you become a more empathetic human with an energy that attracts everyone to be around you within and outside the community. I wanted to become independentand reliable to the people around me and make a positiveexperience for the people around me, influencing my community to see and know it is possible to make things happen for the greater good in local development.

What do you gain from volunteering?

I am a leader in my community and have had different jobs under my beltin the space of 6 years, these include: TV, Hospitality, Retail, Arts, Public and Third Sector positions.

I have gained leadership skills and have walked in many different areas of life - getting a wider perspective on what the world has to offer and what I can offer in its place. I have created friendships which I will value for life and have a great support network of people and knowledge inside my field in the creative arts. I havecontact with BAFTA and Oscar nominated contacts and have been able to help some people achieve their dreams.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

Volunteering has one gain: it opens your heart and shows your love, you don’t need or ask for anything in return and it will showyou how hard a worker you really are when you take the time to look back and reflect, I will cherish my memories for life, even the difficultdays.


You could help make a difference in your community and feel the benefits that volunteering brings, have a look at the Volunteer Inverclyde website and register as a volunteer now: Register here to access hundreds of volunteering opportunities in your area (

25 Faces of Volunteering – Saskia Mulholland

Saskia 2


Meet CVS Inverclyde volunteer Saskia Mulholland...

Tell us about your volunteering

I was part of the 'Meet and Greet' volunteering team for CVS Inverclyde at the local flu and COVID clinic centres. The role involved ensuring all patients followed the one-way systems within the town halls and moved about the buildings safely. I also had to make sure all of the patients went to their correct nursing stations and provide assistance if anyone was struggling with their mobility or transport home by phoning for taxis.

Why do you volunteer?

At the very start of the pandemic in March 2020, I was nearing the end of my university degree and knew I would struggle finding a graduate job during the COVID-19 crisis. I then saw an advert on Facebook that was asking for volunteers for the local flu clinics and I thought it would be a great opportunity to help my local community and allow me to get out of the house for a few hours a week. I didn't expect to love volunteering as much as I did and I certainly did not think it would lead me to securing my first graduate job.

What do you gain from volunteering?

Volunteering allowed me to meet so many different people from all walks of life, many who I still talk to even after finishing my volunteering role. Volunteering provided me with so many great experiences and enhanced my skill set, increased my confidence and allowed me to develop my people skills. I was able to add all of these achievements to my CV and landed myself my first graduate job since leaving university. I also had a few people reach out to me when I was volunteering to see how they could get involved in helping the local community. I really loved that through my role as a volunteer I was inspiring others to get involved.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

I have already recommended volunteering to many of my friends, especially the ones who are still in university or will be leaving soon. To anyone else who is considering volunteering, I would tell them to absolutely apply and get involved. You will meet some amazing people and learn so much about others people’s lives. You will also get so much joy from seeing how much of a difference you are making to people's lives. There are no negatives to volunteering, just a long list of positives!


You could help make a difference in your community and feel the benefits that volunteering brings, have a look at the Volunteer Inverclyde website and register as a volunteer now: Register here to access hundreds of volunteering opportunities in your area (

Our team are currently working remote of the office but can be contacted via individual emails or ...

  • [email protected]
  • 01475 711733
  • Inverclyde Community Hub            75-81 Cathcart Street          Greenock PA15 1DE

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CVS Inverclyde is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No: SC255005 and a Scottish Charity SC024376; Inverclyde Community Trading Limited is a wholly owned trading subsidiary of CVS Inverclyde and a company limited by share, registered in Scotland No: SC389370

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