Roy volunteers with the Falkirk branch of Scottish Seniors Computer Club (SSCC), a federation of groups that helps older people with technology, and has done for quite a long time now. We thought we would ask him a few questions about this rewarding role.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in your volunteer role and what that role entails?
I started volunteering with the computer group in 2013/14, at that time they were run by a charity (Third Age Computer Fun (TACF)) and when I first started with them, I was just a ‘regular’ volunteer. My role was just to help the members with any computer issues or questions they had. But as the year progressed, I showed my commitment and passion for what they were doing and worked my way up to club lead at Falkirk and eventually became committee chair in 2016. My role now is to make sure the club runs smoothly and the wider organisation is looked after. I also help our volunteers with various tasks, and with the recruitment of new members or volunteers.
Volunteers are very important to our organisation; I see them as the backbone, at the core of everything we are trying to achieve as a club and organisation. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, we were able to keep our class going on Zoom and tailor our teaching to each member that attended the sessions without the volunteers to bounce ideas off. I don’t think we would be where we are now without volunteers.
What is your favourite part of your volunteer role?
My most favourite part of volunteering is the great sense of pride I have knowing that I am able to help older people understand the ever-changing world of IT. I also understand how difficult it can be for them to get to grips with certain areas (i.e. social media, Word, and processing are a few examples).
What has been your most memorable moment as a volunteer?
My most memorable moment of my volunteer experience has to have been in 2016 when I was voted in as the committee chair. It was very unexpected, I had put my name forward for the role about a month before the AGM and I expected to be running against someone for it but that didn’t happen. I give a quick few words on how I would help take the organisation forward in the future and with the help of both John (co-leader of the club) and the rest of our volunteers, I feel I have done just that over the last 6 year of being chair.
Have there been any challenges in your volunteer role?
There has been a few challenges in my role, mostly due to COVID-19, the recruitment of volunteers has been very hard but I feel I have dealt with the challenge very well. I think that our Facebook and website has help us attract the right calibre of volunteer to help us drive the club forward.
What would you say to others who are thinking about volunteering?
What I would say to anyone who is thinking of volunteering with any charity or organisation is to first off do a little research into them to find out a bit about them to see what they do or are looking to achieve with their aims, and if they have one, give their mission statement a read. Volunteering is a great thing for people’s CVs and would show future employers that you are good at time-keeping or working as a team. Overall volunteering is good, mainly look for something you like so you will keep at it.