As you might already know, ‘volunteering for all’ is the theme for this year’s Volunteers’ Week (1st -7th June). We’ve been chatting to Louise McGinty, Volunteer Development Manager, at Quarriers about the types of volunteer opportunities they have across Scotland and hearing from some of their volunteers.

Quarriers is one of Scotland’s largest social care charities and provides practical support for vulnerable adults, children and families who face extremely challenging circumstances. They have a range of volunteer opportunities across the country, from befriending to mentoring to corporate volunteer days.

Check out just some of the stories from Quarriers volunteers below that demonstrates that Quarriers provide volunteer opportunities for all – whether you’re retired, a student, full time worker or disabled person – there’s sure to be an opportunity that fits in with your lifestyle, interests and skills.

“I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to help people”

Hayley works full time but wanted to give back to her community and do something important. So five years ago Hayley got in touch with Quarriers and became a befriender. She has now been supporting Kevin for five years and each week it’s different – she attends art class with him, takes him bowling or goes out for lunch. What does Hayley say about volunteering?

“I would encourage other people to volunteer, as it feels good to help people. I feel a sense of fulfilment from volunteering with Kevin, and I feel like he enjoys my company as much as I enjoy his.”

Find out how you can become a befriender at Quarriers.

“I wanted to volunteer to get me out of the house.”

John is a service user at Quarriers and is supported by the Mavisbank service which he has attended since 2008. In 2014, John applied to volunteer as he wanted to be kept busy and saw it as a great chance to meet new people. He now volunteers as a handy man as he enjoys building things and also helps out at ‘Urban Fox’ a club for school children. John advises that being a volunteer has built his confidence, he also said:

“I would encourage other people to volunteer because volunteering helps you to get to know people. And it has helped me become part of a team. Volunteering has helped me with my independence.”

“This very quickly became a priority for me”

Leanne is a mum of two and student nurse with an interest in mental health and was therefore keen to get involved in Quarriers intandem project that supports young people who are looked after by their local authority but live at home. Leanne advised that juggling the role with her life can be hard but she’s committed to help the young girl she supports:

“I really hope that I can be a positive role model for her and that she looks back on this time as something that helped her to believe in herself and be happy with who she is. I’ve learned a lot about myself already. I feel that I’m on a journey; I’m very much walking alongside my young person as they move toward their goals and that’s a real privilege.”

Find out more about Quarriers intandem project.

“Are you a Morton fan?”

Retired firefighter, Pat, was told by his son that his local newspaper were looking for a volunteer and the ad had the above title. As a Morton fan he jumped at the opportunity to become a befriender to Alex, a life-long fan himself. Pat and Alex now go and see as many home and away matches as possible and have become firm friends.

For Alex, Pat’s support, has widened his friendship circle and enabled him to do more of what he loves. His confidence has increased and he is now much more vocal at the football matches, cheering along with the supporters. They’ve even had the chance to meet Peter Weatherson (Alex’s favourite player) and Pat got to present Alex with a birthday card on the pitch – something Alex will remember for a long time.

Pat enjoyed volunteering so much that he decided to go back to working and is now a relief worker at Quarriers Octavia service – but he still keeps his Saturday’s free for taking Alex to football matches! Pat hopes to continue volunteering until he “and Alex are going to matches with their walking sticks”

Find out more about the different opportunities available with Quarrires.

“It gives us the opportunity to make a real difference in our community”

Chivas Brothers wanted their staff team to get involved with Volunteers’ Week in 2017 and so got in touch with Quarriers to find out how they could help out local services. 120 staff members took on a range of gardening and DIY tasks in Quarriers village, including painting rooms, building raised flower beds and socialising with the service users and staff.

Elaine Watt, CNC Team Lead at Chivas Brothers’ Paisley site, said “We’re really proud to be volunteering with Quarriers. The charity does so much to support children and adults, and the more we can do to improve their surroundings, the better. I hope that the gardening and decorating work creates a fun space for residents to enjoy.”

Find out more about employee challenges at Quarriers.

Is your organisation planning on celebrating the theme ‘volunteering for all’ this Volunteers’ Week? Make sure you sign up on the Volunteer Scotland website to become a charity partner, add your name to the Thunderclap and download the range of resources available to support your celebrations!