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voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
Barbara Dickson, OBE and seescape Patron, joins people with visual impairments to give thanks during Volunteers' Week.
Seescape is celebrating this year’s Volunteer Week which runs from 1-7 June each year, with award-winning Scottish singer and actress, Barbara Dickson, OBE. Dunfermline-born, Barbara, kicks off the week spectacularly with her special message thanking seescape Volunteers who have been supporting people with sight loss across the Kingdom. Around two-thirds of sight-impaired people have experienced loneliness because of their sight loss, putting them more at risk of mental health issues. The same number of sight-impaired people, also feel they have become less independent since the start of lockdown.
For over a year, seescape Volunteers have been contacting, seescape clients, supporting them through regular telephone calls to have a chat, share interests and offer moral support. This is making a big difference, for example: Maisie, started chatting to her Volunteer Telephone Befriender, Janice, in December 2020, they now share weekly chats and enjoy talking about many things, whether it’s favourite holiday destinations, good recipes, nature and wildlife, favourite music to listen to and family. Maisie had this to say about her experience with befriending:
“I really enjoy chatting to Janice, she’s a lovely person and it gives me something to look forward to. When we talk on the phone, the time goes by so quickly. She very friendly and we have built up a good rapport. She checks that I have support that I need and how I’m getting on. This has been reassuring of late, as I have been in and out of hospital getting a lot of tests. I have a sense of connection with somebody else. We both live on our own so can share tips and offer encouragement also.”
Janice has this to say about the experience of being a Volunteer Telephone Befriender:
“It’s a two-way thing for me, it also gives me a purpose to the day and connection with somebody else. It’s definitely not hard work, my befriendee has a great personality and it also gives me a real boost to hear how she is getting on. We have built up a good relationship through sharing stories, experiences, talking and laughing, as we both have similar sense of humour.”
Barbara Dickson in her message says: “volunteers have continued to be there for people, for over a year; keeping in touch, being kind and generally supporting people. We can’t thank them enough”. A series of short thank you messages will feature on seescape Fife’s Facebook page during Volunteers Week, with Barbara Dickson, clients and seescape staff all sharing their own appreciation.
Lesley Carcary, CEO of seescape had this to say:
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the charity seescape, without them we simply couldn’t reach as many clients as we do. Their efforts to help maintain people’s wellbeing and reaching out during uncertain times is worth celebrating during this year’s Volunteers Week as well as throughout the entire year.”