Q1 – ‘Is this your first time in a volunteering role?’ Yes
Q2 – ‘Why The Mungo Foundation?’ Because I’ve always worked here; when I came into this environment, I done courses on activities, it’s something I love doing it – it doesn’t matter if it works out great or rubbish, if you make something, it’s good. TMF has been a really big, giant part of my life, so it seemed the best place to do it.
Q3 ‘What sort of things will you get up to?’ We’ve got an activities coordinator; so I’ll go in there, and say: ‘I want to do this, do that’ – right now it’s Christmas wreaths, so I’m like, Sharon, I’ve seen this , seen that, can we get that off your budget! Whatever’s going on at that time , whether it’s bonfire nights or Christmas, or just a wee movie night, I’m terrible for going into dress up shops and party shops, and asking if there’s anything yous arenae using any more, or is stained or marked, and getting them. If the guys say they want to make lunch then we’ll get everything they need and they’ll make their lunch. The only part that you have to watch out for is cooker tops; I’ll let them come to the oven, and I’ll let them put stuff into the oven, but not cooker tops, because of the mobility. Once they’ve made all their lunch, they’ll clear and they’ll set the table in the kitchen away from everybody else, for two, and they love it. What they love most is saying to staff ‘excuse me, you can’t be in here!’ It’s empowerment you know. They always love what they’re doing, eating and playing their part.
Q4: ‘Why do you volunteer?’ The buzz. I love it. If I can make somebody laugh or smile, that’s me. Planting the potato crop was a favourite moment – and we harvested it, and had it for their dinner. We got oor hands dirty; you know some folk have never got their hands in dirt. Even folks in wheelchairs, if you bring it up to their height, let them have a go. Then the potatoes were all ready and they loved it, they loved brushing out the dirt – there’s nothing like it. I think some people as well are a bit feert, there’s that much red tape, you’re feert to do this or that. You’ve got to watch what you’re doing, but you get to know people and you know: ‘They could do that’. Or when somebody’s made food for everybody, and you see their face light up when you say ‘Rory made that for yous, let him know what you think about it.’ It’s just something inside that comes out, it’s a total buzz – I might not get money, but I get something else.
Q5: ‘Do you have any advice for someone thinking about volunteering?’ Just do it! If you get on wi people, and you get that kind of self-satisfaction – maybe it could be a selfish thing. It’s something I’m really passionate about. It can give other people that passion. People who’ve maybe never been working in care could see that it’s not always a horror story; people are here on a holiday, they want to have some fun, you get the fun as well, you get the buzz – there’s nothing to beat it. There’s nae time limit on it – you can dictate the time, or the person you’re working with can dictate the time. Anything goes!