An interview with volunteer Doug Carnegie

How long have you been volunteering with ScotsCare?

 8 years

What attracted you to want to volunteer for ScotsCare?

Not all Scots find good fortune in London. As one of the lucky ones I wanted to give something back.

Do you feel you get more out of your volunteer experience as it meant you were able to support fellow Scots?

There is no doubt a closer connection to be had in helping a charity that looks out for the people you’re from.

 How have you personally benefitted from the experience? Or What do you personally get from the experience?

A thorough commitment to volunteering should be an equation – you get out what you put in. New friends and new experiences more than reward the effort.

 What do you think your befriendee gets out of the relationship? Have you seen a change in them since you have been their befriendee?

They’d be the ones to best ask. But I think they’d say they felt supported in practical ways, and a loyalty evolving into friendship.

What has most surprised you about your befriendee?

I wouldn’t call it surprise, more a confirmation that everyone has a story to tell – and different ways of coping with adversity.

What do you see as the barriers to social connection in a big city like London? Or How do you think people struggle to find social connection in a big city like London?

As some Scots in London get older their social networks can shrink, leaving a sense of some helplessness. Oddly enough, a disengagement with life in Scotland in their younger days may play a part in some later life alienation in London. A similar psychological mechanism may be involved. Worth researching perhaps.

What would you say to someone considering volunteering for ScotsCare?

Go for it – you’ll get a lot out of it, and may do a wee bit of good.

What is ScotsCare like to volunteer for?

A good organisation with good-hearted professional staff and an unwavering commitment to help folk who may have hit tough times.

What do you think other people should know about ScotsCare?

That it exists! We should maybe proclaim that a bit louder in more various ways…..

Is there anything else you’d like to say about your Befriending experience?

One of the best commitments I’ve made, no question.

For more details and information on befriending, visit https://scotscare.com/befriending/

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