It’s Volunteers’ Week!
Over the next seven days you will meet amazing volunteers from across Inverclyde and hear their stories about what volunteering means to them and the impact they have made.
David McCallum has been volunteering for the scouts for nearly 40 years. He is an assistant Scout Leader with the 32nd Greenock & District Scout Group, a Trustee of the group and an Assistant Regional Commissioner.
Tell us about your volunteering
Next year I will have clocked up 40 years service with the Scout Association. I started out as a Cub Scout at the age of eight and quickly moved into the venture scouts and latterly became the scout leader. During this time, I travelled far and wide with the group on summer camp, taking part in many adventurous activities and meeting many terrific people. Many of the young people in the early years would not have otherwise had a summer break.
I have achieved many things during at my 40 years including being honoured with a visit to Downing Street in 2010 to meet the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to discuss the success of scouting in Inverclyde. I have met many terrific people over the years and have shared the success story of Inverclyde Scouting with Chief Scouts and members of the Royal family at garden parties.
Over the years I have almost become part of dozens of Greenock families whom I have given, hopefully good, advice and worked with them to steer their child in the right direction. I have made lifelong friends and keep in touch with many of my scouts from many years ago.
Working with young people in the Community is nothing short of a privilege and extremely rewarding. As I complete my 4th a decade volunteering with the scout movement I, along with others, are taking on the trusteeship of a huge building on Bank street Greenock which is now the home of the 32nd Greenock and district scout group - hopefully for generations to come. Whilst younger leaders now run the sections and have all the fun, ‘more mature’ leaders like myself fundraise and undertake projects within the building to make it fit for modern Scouting.
Why do you volunteer?
The sense of achievement and self-satisfaction, coupled with helping others achieve their goals in life, is extremely rewarding. Volunteering can sometimes be difficult and at times seems to take over your life, therefore a good balance must be struck. All in all, my volunteering has been a real challenge and dealing with young people is extremely rewarding.
What do you gain from volunteering?
Volunteering for me is an essential part of daily life and runs in tandem with family and work. volunteering has allowed me to develop new skills (including leadership) which I enjoy sharing with others, which brings an enormous sense of achievement. There is an old saying ‘you only get out what you put in’ and I have found this is all too true.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering?
My answer would be simple: volunteering in whatever shape or form is extremely rewarding.
In respect of volunteering with a youth organisation, the rewards are multiple and include witnessing a young person grow from the age of six years into adulthood; and on many occasions witnessing them achieving top awards and progressing their life skills to take a constructive and meaningful role in their 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 (volunteerinverclyde.com)