The importance of volunteers

 

Chief Executive Lesslie Young reflects on Volunteer’s Week and how important volunteers are to organisations like Epilepsy Scotland.

Without volunteers, and their incredible gift of time, we would find it almost impossible to do what we do.

Many, but not all people that volunteer with us have first-hand experience of epilepsy, whether that be through their own diagnosis or via a family member or friends experience with epilepsy.

Volunteers Week last month (1-7 June) highlighted the many ways volunteers are using their experience to enrich the work of Epilepsy Scotland across the organisation.

 

Our volunteers

Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) takes place annually and is a time to say thank you and recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make.

At Epilepsy Scotland, volunteers shared their stories on our blog all week. Here are a few inspiring excerpts:

“I decided to become a volunteer with the Purple Pandas Group because I’ve been part of Epilepsy Scotland Youth Group for a long time and enjoyed taking part in all the activities and I would like to help give the younger children the same opportunity as I have had” Ryan, Epilepsy Scotland Youth Group member and volunteer.

“When I was diagnosed, I distinctly remember feeling isolated and uncertain. I was frustrated at the lack of real-life stories of how people continue to tackle difficult situations, as I felt that was all I faced. Now that I am somewhat settled in my life, I would like to contribute exactly that back to the community.” Louise, Event Planning Committee member and Facebook Support Group

“Being a volunteer helps me understand people as well as getting supported by staff if I feel troubled as well. I just want to help people and I just feel like volunteering can help make a difference to someone’s day.” Kim, Buddy Volunteer for our Wellbeing Service.

Volunteers

 

Ways to get involved

Here are three ways to get involved and volunteer to help make a difference.

  • Join #TeamEpilepsyScotland and help raise vital funds for the charity. This might be sparing an hour or two to help at organised collections, cheering on participants at a marathon, joining our event planning committee or helping with administration tasks in our fundraising office.

 

  • Make your voice heard. We need people who have experience of epilepsy to get involved with our campaigns. If you are passionate about supporting the rights of people with epilepsy, check out the campaigns page on our website and find out more, often we are running surveys or research to help put epilepsy at the forefront of government policy and improve support for people with epilepsy in Scotland.

 

  • Spread the word. You can raise awareness of epilepsy and show your support by simply sharing our posts on social media. Why not join our new Epilepsy Scotland Volunteers Group on Facebook, recently the group voted for the best design for our 2021 charity Christmas cards. It may seem a long way off but the time will fly in.

 

Benefits of volunteering

  • Volunteering can be a fun way to meet new people, take on a challenge and increase confidence.

 

  • Volunteering can improve wellbeing and lead to a healthier and happier Scotland! Find out more about the benefits of volunteering on the Volunteer Scotland website.

 

  • Volunteering is a good way to learn something new, gain experience, and add skills to your CV. We provide training for volunteers to help understand epilepsy, how it affects people differently and how, through volunteering you can best represent Epilepsy Scotland.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Epilepsy Scotland, please email Linzi at fundraising@epilepsyscotland.org.uk or call 0141 427 4911. Or join our Epilepsy Scotland Volunteers Group on Facebook.

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