Berwickshire volunteers celebrated

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During National Volunteers Week (June 1-7), the contribution made by the region’s many volunteers is being celebrated.

Millie Carter (19), a Modern Apprentice in youth work in Eyemouth, discovered her calling when she became a young volunteer with the Scouts.

Millie said: “The first time I stood up in front of a group of young people to organise an activity was through the Scouts, I didn’t realise it at the time but planning a session and evaluating an activity were the skills I would need in my job. The support and training that I was given through the Scouts helped me to develop the confidence I needed to do my job every day. Seeing young people develop and have fun in Scouts is what made me want to go on and be a youth worker.”

Volunteering is worth approximately £22.6 billion to the UK’s economy but in personal, community and social terms, it’s invaluable. Almost 40% of the population does volunteering and there are many ways you can help others.

Berwickshire Housing Association’s Lottery funded BeFriend project aims to offer companionship to people who are experiencing loneliness and isolation in Berwickshire and kelso. Volunteer roles with the project include drivers, group volunteers and one-to-one befrienders who visit people in their own homes, perhaps go out with people if they can, and provide them with support and companionship.

NHS Borders has almost 300 people in 40 different volunteer roles, and voluntary services manager Joanne Forrest reports a remarkable growth in the number of people volunteering over the past couple of years: but more are still needed, particularly drivers, mealtime volunteers and healthy living network members.

Joanne Forrest NHS Borders voluntary services manager said: “Volunteering is two-way and many volunteers speak of the benefits to themselves as individuals for instance gaining valuable new skills and experience, boosting their confidence and making new friends. It can be rewarding just to know that you are contributing to the wellbeing of Borders people.”

contact details

BHA 01361 884000; befriend@berwickshirehousing.org.uk.

Scout volunteering roles visit www.scouts.scot/join

NHS Borders www.nhsborders.scot.nhs.uk/get-involved/volunteering-homepage/