Volunteers’ Week 2021 – Q&A with Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Plus

Name:  Dumfries and Galloway LGBT Plus with Iain Campbell

How many volunteers do you have? 24

What volunteering roles do you have? Currently we have online/phone volunteers, training up, and running prior to Covid-19. Our other roles that volunteers engaged in had to be put on hold. These were Walk Leaders, Outreach Team, Social Hosts, and the Activities Team

What made your organisation decide to take on volunteers? Without volunteers we could not achieve all the activities and events that we run each year.

What impact have volunteers had on your organisation? They have a large impact on the organisation and all we do, allowing us to reach out to the wider community and do more varied events, activities, and training.

What positive impact has your organisation had on volunteers? The training helps with confidence, team building, and opportunities to develop skills in first aid, Health and safety, risk assessments, safeguarding, as well as signposting to courses at the colleges in Stranraer and Dumfries, volunteering with partner agencies, and pathways to new employment or career changes.

What makes a great volunteer? Just being themselves, being open, honest, and approachable.

What makes your organisation a great place to volunteer? It’s a fun place to volunteer, learn new skills, meet new friends.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer? Give us a call or email and have a conversation with the team or other volunteers.

What would you like to say to volunteers for Volunteers Week? Thank you on behalf of the organisation, the community, and our partners. Not just our volunteers, but all volunteers past and present, without you we could not do what we do across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond. Thank you one and all.

Name: Gillian Campbell

What is your volunteering role? Outreach and Phone Befriender.

How long have you been volunteering with the organisation? I have been a volunteer for three years.

What made you consider becoming a volunteer? To be part of a community of shared values and help give a voice.

What motivates you to continue volunteering? The satisfaction of helping others and sharing our stories.

What impact has volunteering had on your life? It has made me more aware of the LGBT world and the effect others have on the community with negative comments, actions, and thoughts.

What skills have you brought to your role and what skills have your learned? I brought a caring background to my role from my 15 years as a carer, my communication skills, and empathy for others. It has helped me with my confidence, inter-personal skills and engaging with others, talking to larger groups and public. I learnt new presentation skills, Heath and Safety, risk assessments, Policy and Procedures, IT and marketing, online and phone befriending skills.

What else should a volunteer bring to a role? Openness and a willing to explore new learning.

What makes your organisation a great place to volunteer? Friendly

What would you say to someone who was thinking about becoming a volunteer? Try it, I dipped my toe in 3 years ago and really enjoy the experiences I have had, and the new friends I have made on the way.