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25 Faces of Volunteering - Lilia Fry

Inverclyde Carers Centre

 

Lilia enjoys her volunteering opportunity and has had personal experience of being a carer so understands and empathises with the carers that she befriends.

Tell us about your volunteering

My role is to make befriending phone calls to other carers who may feel isolated or alone as a result of the caring position they find themselves.

Every week I call two different carers. Both are women and both have completely differing experiences of the caring role. Both carers that I am in contact with face isolation in their carers role. Both have had to witness the physical and mental decline of someone very close to them.

Both are happy to chat about this experience - its frustrations and its lighter moments. Generally, they are happy just to chat. The phone calls take place at same time each week and generally last from 30mins -50mins.

Why do you volunteer?

Having been a carer myself I felt that I would like to perhaps offer other people in a similar position a little light relief in the shape of a phone call.

Lockdown meant that face to face meetings were out of the question although that would have my preferred option. I struggled at first with the idea of making phone calls to people I had never met and knew little about. I need not have worried. The calls were appreciated and as we established common interests over weeks and months it became so much easier.

I look forward to the calls as I hope the carers also do.

What do you gain from volunteering?

The fulfilment of a desire to help.

Being the listening ear for someone who might feel they are struggling.

Sharing experiences of caring. Both good and not so good.

The hope that I might have brightened someone's day a little.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

I would say to put any misgivings you might have aside and do it.

Even if you feel unsure, nervous, inadequate or other negative feelings. Do it!

You will have a unique opportunity to make a small difference to another person.

 

Find out more about Inverclyde Carers Centre - visit their website.

25 Faces of Volunteering - Inverclyde Carers Centre

Inverclyde Carers Centre

Inverclyde Carers Centre want to say thank you to all their volunteers who have volunteered their time to support carers. Volunteers are simply invaluable to us and our carers.

Tell us about your organisation

Inverclyde Carers Centre provides support, information and services to unpaid Carers who live in the Inverclyde area. One of our services is providing befriending to Carers who are feeling socially isolated. Carers really value the calls they receive from the volunteers and volunteers often say they get as much out of the experience as the carers they call.

How do you include volunteers in your organisation?

Our volunteers provide befriending to carers who are feeling socially isolated and would like to receive a weekly call from a friendly volunteer who is ready and willing to listen. The support from our volunteers is invaluable to us.

Please tell about your volunteer opportunity

Carers had previously told us that they felt socially isolated in feedback from our annual survey and through conversations with staff. The majority of volunteers who provide this emotional support have previous caring experience or a knowledge of the experience of caring for someone, even if they do not full training is provided.

How is Inverclyde Carers Centre celebrating volunteer week?

As we have not been able to meet up and as we have recruited some volunteers online and only being able to meet through zoom I am arranging to meet up safely outside through Inverclyde Bothy’s Healthy Walks scheme.

 

Find out more about Inverclyde Carers Centre - visit their website.

25 Faces of Volunteering - Amy Shearer

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Amy Shearer is a dedicated volunteer who has been helping in the community since she has been 14 years old. Amy is passionate about helping others from a disadvantage or underrepresented community.

Tell us about your volunteering

I've been volunteering within Inverclyde for almost 10 years - starting with a club for children with disabilities when I was just 14-years-old. The 'U Matter Club' was an excellent place for youngsters with various disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, autism and blindness, to socialise and have fun in a safe space. From there, I went on to be a lead volunteer with 'Friends4Ever' club, a continuation of U Matter Club after it dissolved.

The groups were safe spaces for youngsters to be themselves and we were able to provide amazing opportunities every Friday night at the youth club and during summer and Easter play schemes. Unfortunately, due to University and work commitments, I had to part way with the Friends4Ever club. But, I'm now volunteering with Supportive Communities Befriending to help integrate New Scots into the Inverclyde area. The organisation do incredible work helping to make refugees feel welcomed into the wider community.

Why do you volunteer?

Since a young age, I've always been passionate about helping others and giving those from a disadvantaged or underrepresented community a voice. I've always believed in speaking up and out - something that I can now do in a professional capacity too. Certain stereotypes are associated with children with disabilities and also New Scots in the area, so by working alongside the organisations I've chosen I can help break down barriers.

What do you gain from volunteering?

Volunteering truly has made me the person I am today. I've gained invaluable life skills and had some 'money can't buy' experiences. For me, seeing a young person with a disability flourish and thrive with my support is a feeling you cannot compare to anything else. It helped me grow in confidence, learn more about myself as a person and truly allowed me to find out what I wanted to do with my life.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

Volunteering enriches your life in so many ways and opens doors into other opportunities. It's a great way to meet new friends and be introduced to people from various walks of life. If you are a young person looking to add to your CV, volunteering can provide a whole host of opportunities to help you gain a pathway into employment. There are so many reasons why volunteering is one of the best things I've ever pursued. I couldn't imagine my life now if I hadn't met some of my life-long friends through volunteering opportunities. It really opens your eyes to a world beyond your own!

25 Faces of Volunteering - Betty Stewart

CLD Logo

Betty shares her volunteering story and how she enjoys helping people to learn, grow and develop their skills and confidence.

Tell us about your volunteering

I am a Volunteer Tutor with the Adult Literacies Team and I also support a group of learners as part of a crafters group. I undertook a training course for Volunteering which I thoroughly enjoyed with lots of assistance from my Tutor.

My first volunteer role was with WOOPI (Wider Opportunities for Older People in Inverclyde). A few of the activities I was involved in included the WOOPI singers, crafters and much more.  

I then undertook a PDA in Adult Literacies Level 6 in order to support adult literacies learners. I found this challenging but with help from Tutors, I settled into it. On meeting my first literacies learner I was wary but my learner made me feel at ease, as I did with my learner, and I always had the support of my Tutors.

I do thoroughly enjoy my volunteering role and I hope my learners get as much out of it as I do in seeing how they progress and become more confident.

I also support a number of learners as part of a Craft Group. A group of ladies, some with health problems, others lonely, but all have the same goal: they all enjoy crafting and the company as I do. When starting a project - for example, Rag Dolls - we all share our knowledge with each other, and we are fortunate to be able to access resources through Community Learning and Development.  

We have had a few upsets during lockdown, some quite distressing, but we have come through it just like a lot of people have, and I am hoping we will be able to resume crafting maybe with some changes as Health and Wellbeing is more in need now than ever before.

All in all it has been quite a journey and learning curve.

Why do you volunteer?

First and foremost, I wanted to help people less fortunate than myself and hopefully improve their lives.  

What do you gain from volunteering?

I enjoy watching people learn and develop their skills and grow in confidence.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering?

I would say go for it! There are lots of people out there in need of assistance and you will receive all the help and support necessary to help you on your journey.

 

 

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

 

CVS Inverclyde Appoints New Lead Community Link Worker

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Elaine Cannon has been appointed as CVS Inverclyde’s new lead community link worker.

Elaine joins us from Moving On Inverclyde, a charity helping people recover from problematic alcohol and drug use, and brings a wealth of experience to lead our community link worker team.

CVSI CEO, Charlene Elliott, said: “We are so excited to welcome Elaine to the CVSI team and we look forward to her starting at the end of May. Elaine has spent her career helping some of the most vulnerable people in Inverclyde and I know she will excel in this role and make a huge contribution. The community link worker team plays an essential role in supporting people in the community with social and economic problems that often have a negative on their health.”

Elaine told us she is excited to start her new role: “I have a genuine desire to ensure people link with meaningful support and have opportunities to build positive relationships, reduce isolation and feel they are valued members of their community. This is something I will have in common with the Team from the outset. As a native of Inverclyde I have a vested interest in ensuring our people have every opportunity available to them regardless of any challenges they may face.”

“As Lead Link Worker I would see it as an important part of the role to ensure we are representing the voices of the people we work alongside at a strategic planning level. As we move further into our recovery from COVID 19 restrictions and the challenges this has brought I believe this is a perfect time and opportunity to build on the learning we’ve had to make our communities strong again, with the Community Link Worker Team playing a vital role in this.”

Since the Inverclyde CLW programme was established in December 2017, the team have supported over 3,000 patients with issues and have made referrals to 148 agencies locally across a variety of sectors.

In March, CVSI successfully extended its Community Link Worker programme for an initial two-year period following a recent public procurement tender exercise.

Keep up to date with the work of our Community Link Worker Team by following them on Twitter @Inverclyde_CLW

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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