For Volunteers’ Week 2019, we’re recognising and celebrating the fantastic work our volunteers do by sharing some stories from our Peer Research Volunteers programme.
To gain a more personal view of what the programme means for those volunteers in this special week, SDF media volunteer, John Thomson, met up with some of those working in Fife.
This is Carol’s story.
Carol, SDF Peer Research Volunteer, Fife
How did you get into volunteering with SDF?
I’d been in nursing for something like thirty years and had fallen by the wayside, so to speak. I’d a very enlightened doctor and she had signposted me to some of the other services that are available, which I’d never heard of, and I got involved through them. Since I joined the SDF it’s been leaps and bounds.
I was in recovery and was happy to get involved in volunteering. Indeed, I’m happy to be giving something back.
So what kind of things is Carol involved in?
I’ve been involved in a lot of peer research. We received training in boundaries and motivational interviewing. That was quite intense in its own right. We also received lectures on things like Female Genital Mutilation and stalking – an intensive round of education to be perfectly candid.
We ended up doing peer research in trauma in East Dunbartonshire; we did peer research in Dundee about the kind of services people were receiving; and we did peer research in Minimum Unit Pricing.
I want to continue giving something back. I can now look about to see what doors are open. I have many more options now.
And what does the future hold for her?
This is the kind of work I want to do in the future. In this environment you’re seeing people who have basically been written off but are coming back to life. It’s great to be able to contribute so massively to this.
You see, I’m in my early sixties and it’s an age range which has a lot more to offer than we’re led to believe.
And does Carol have just one message for those considering volunteering with SDF?
The help that SDF gives you is constant encouragement and the education is actually second to none.
If you have a history of substance use problems and would like to find out more about becoming a Peer Research volunteer with SDF, please click here.