In Volunteer’s Week, we caught up with Easton, one of volunteer befrienders about his experience in volunteering for the charity.
Why did you want to volunteer ScotsCare?
London can feel a bit all-consuming, so finding time to volunteer can seem difficult. However, a change in my working pattern a few years back afforded me some free time. I’d been considering volunteering and came across ScotsCare by chance. Their befriending service seemed like a neat idea and something that would allow me to volunteer in my own patch of London and fit with my schedule.
Do you feel you get more out of your volunteer experience as you able to help support other Scots while doing it?
I’m a Scot in London, so was intrigued when I found a charity which supports my fellow country men and women. There is certain kinship in volunteering for, and with, others Scots. That said, I’m always struck by the assortment of people who are involved in the charity: it’s a diverse and vibrant bunch – much like the country itself!
Why attracted you to befriending?
Despite being surrounded by lots of people, I do often find London to be a lonely place. The befriending service seemed like a great initiative that could allow me to play a small part in reducing isolation by ‘blethering’.
How have you personally benefitted from the experience?
More and more communication now takes place online: if I’m not typing out an email at work, I’ll be responding to a notification on my phone. Befriending has reminded me of the benefits of speaking face-to-face. My befriendee and I are at different ages and stages of life. However, by meeting regularly we’ve found plenty of common ground. I don’t think I had appreciated how powerful conversation could be.
What about your befriendee, what do you think they get out of the relationship?
Hopefully some good banter with a buddy!
Would you recommend this to others? If so what would you say to them ?
I’d definitely recommend befriending to others. One thing that concerned me before volunteering was running out of conversation or having little in common with the befriendee. ScotsCare puts a lot of time into explaining what’s involved and ‘buddying’ you with the right person. Try it – you’ll be a little Lorraine Kelly in no time!
What is ScotsCare like to volunteer for?
ScotsCare is a great charity to volunteer for. They offer support and show appreciation for their volunteers in a range of different ways, for example training sessions and social events. It keeps it interactive, interesting and most importantly, fun!
ScotsCare is continually grateful for all the support that our volunteers provide. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact us on 0800 652 2989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.