Volunteer Action Dumfries & Galloway

Never too old to volunteer!

Scotland has a declining and ageing population. While the proportion of children is predicted to fall, the proportion of people over 60 is predicted to increase. In Dumfries and Galloway it‘s not difficult to believe. Christine Clarke, Training Support Officer with Volunteer Action says, "Dumfries and Galloway is such an attractive region that many people decide to retire here. Rather than see that as a problem, we should see older people as a welcome resource. After all, older people nowadays stay active far longer than previous generations. We need to tap into this resource".

Christine adds: "We at Volunteer Action see the wealth of skills, experience, patience and time that older people bring to volunteering. They are able to offer such a lot to their communities through volunteering: availability, maturity, commitment, dependability and influence. And volunteering isn‘t just a one way street. In return, volunteering can offer such a lot to older people: self-worth, personal growth, social contact, fun, a place in the community, routine and a reason to set foot out the door."

Volunteering can not only help to keep people physically and mentally active, but can provide a positive transition from work to retirement, enabling people to maintain their skills and pass them on. For those who are affected by other events, such as moving to a new area, bereavement or separation from family, volunteering can often help them to adjust to their new circumstances, to restructure their lives and to engage in a meaningful and productive way with the community.

Unfortunately, as with many other groups in society, older people, especially older volunteers, are prone to stereotyping. Older volunteers can be involved in any number of opportunities, from woodland maintenance to dog walking, from mentoring young people to being involved with adult literacy, from campaigning to running coffee mornings.

Christine says, "As the local Volunteer Centre we work to promote, support and develop quality volunteering experiences for ALL individuals and communities throughout the region. There are so many different opportunities in the Stewartry, there‘s bound to be something to suit everyone."

If you would like to find out more about what volunteering opportunities are on offer, please contact Christine on 01556 612518 or email her on stewartry@volunteeraction.co.uk or visit their website http://www.volunteeraction.co.uk/