Tell us about your role and typical volunteering shift
I volunteer with Street Alternatives at weekends. Generally I do two shifts a month. A typical weekend shift involves food prep/cooking, serving food, chatting to service users, dish washing, etc. No two shifts are the same but that adds to the fun!
How did you find out about volunteering at Aberdeen Cyrenians? What made you want to volunteer?
I have known about Aberdeen Cyrenians for a long time, I used to work with people who volunteered with them. I've gone to various fundraising events over the years and I came to a decision that I could be doing more, so I applied to volunteer.
If a friend wanted to volunteer, what would you say was the best thing about volunteering with us?
It's certainly rewarding and you definitely won't be bored! It's a great team to work with.
Has your understanding and perception of homelessness changed since you have been volunteering here?
Definitely my previously 'quite blinkered' understanding of homelessness has changed. i'm much more aware of how quickly any one of us could be in this situation. it only needs a change of circumstances - often through no fault of our own - health, marital, employment, etc.
What’s the one thing in your role that you did not expect?
Sarah (one of our Volunteer Coordinators) making me make custard!* Seriously though - I did not expect to get so much from volunteering with Aberdeen Cyrenians.
*Sarah has added: "We had a lot of custard powder donated so on one shift so I had asked Alison if she could make custard instead of using tins, this was her first attempt and I'd like to give her credit for the perfect consistency and lack of lumps, great job Alison!"
Volunteers' Week runs from 1-7 June 2019, providing a chance to recognise and thank the amazing contribution that volunteers make to our charity.