Giving back to the community – Margaret & Shirley

The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering, so taking the time during Volunteers’ Week to celebrate their efforts and all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector and society as a whole has never been more important.



Margaret Miller – Volunteer Walk Leader 

I was a member of a ladies’ group when local Health Walk coordinator (Daren Borzynski) came to do a presentation on the benefits of walking. It got me thinking and I decided to become a Volunteer Walk Leader. I took part in the Paths for All walk leader training and helped set up a walk near to where I live. It’s important walks are close to where people live so that they don’t need to travel far to get involved. It wasn’t long before walkers came along and it’s great to see the number of walkers who have been with us from the start. 

I’ve enjoyed meeting lots of new people and having a blether while keeping active on the walk.  Getting people out is important after the last few years we’ve all been through, when some people have been more isolated than before. It’s great to have a walking group that people can come along to and feel part of. 

Volunteering isn’t new to me. Years back, I volunteered with an Out of School Care group for many years. I got involved because my daughter went along to the group but it was something I was interested in, too.  I see that as one of my best achievements in volunteering. Helping set up an Out of School Care group helped a number of local families, particularly single parent families. I feel that it set something in motion for other out of school care groups across the authority.  

I’ve been with the Health & Social Walks for 7 years now, and I’d like to say a big thanks to the walkers that join us every week in all weathers. It really is a two-way street. Seeing everyone out walking is my motivation for being there every Monday morning, too.  Everyone should give volunteering a try! 



Shirley Reilly –  Befriending and Office Admin Volunteer 

I was working in the Vale of Leven Hospital, and noticed an advert for Befriending, and I thought this was something that I would really like to do. 

I contacted West Dunbartonshire CVS to find out more and became part of the team. I’ve been there for 7 years now. It was a very easy process to get involved. My meeting with the Befriending Coordinator was relaxed and we chatted about what I wanted to get from volunteering and what my interests were. This is important as befrienders and befriendees are matched around the things we have in common and our similar interests. It wasn’t long until I was matched up and got started.  

I really enjoy time with my befriendee, knowing that they benefit from my calls and that we both enjoy our time together.  

I also give some time to volunteer in the office, helping out with some admin tasks. This has helped me build my IT Skills, and the staff at WDCVS have been really supportive.   

Volunteering has given me confidence to go out more and overcome my shyness. It’s been an amazing journey for me. I am happy to try new things now where I wouldn’t have been in the past. 

I was recently talking to someone who said they didn’t have much to fill her time. I was happy to tell her about my volunteering, and I hope she will take the step to get involved too. 

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