New VCB chief issues call

Gordon Brown, Volunteer Centre
Gordon Brown, Volunteer Centre

Years after leaving Tweeddale Press, where he worked as a journalist, Gordon Brown noticed how many of his old stories featured volunteering.

Things have come full circle for Gordon, with his appointment as Volunteer Centre Borders’ new Executive Officer to replace chief Susan Swan.

The VCB organisation, based in Galashiels, promotes and develops volunteering across the area and is an active member of the Borders Third Sector Partnership.

Gordon, most recently National Director at Asthma UK Scotland, spent time at The Southern Reporter and Radio Borders after graduating.

“I’m not saying all those old stories I worked on which featured a volunteering angle to them ultimately inspired me to change the direction of my career, but it made me realise just how massively influential the voluntary sector is when it comes to our everyday lives,” Gordon told us.

“Having now worked in the voluntary sector for over a decade I am obviously a big believer in its power and the difference it can make, not only in community development but also in addressing social isolation and health inequalities.”

He is keen to hear from people whose lives have benefited from volunteering, either as the donor or recipient, and also work with a wide range of organisations both to increase the range of volunteering opportunities and the pool of those willing to fill them.

“Whether it is helping a health charity, a local sports club or an arts and crafts event, there are so many ways to get involved in volunteering, whether as individuals, family groups or even as teams of people from work,” he told us.

“Not only does volunteering benefit recipients and their communities, but also those who give up their time in terms of building confidence, tackling perhaps their own sense of isolation and even for things like enhancing employment CVs.

“Personally, I like the analogy of a dating agency to best describe VCB - people can tell us what kind of volunteering opportunity they are looking for and we will help match them with the right one.”