I’m Brenda, I’m 75 and I live in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. I volunteer with Alzheimer Scotland where I attend the Day Centre once a week, take part in fund-raising and serve on the branch committee. It keeps me busy!
I got involved with Alzheimer Scotland because I had been invited to come to a branch meeting by a friend whom I had helped when her mother had dementia. This was at a time when there was not much support available. From then, I took an interest in helping both the carers and the people with dementia.
Over the years volunteering I’ve gained new skills, taking part in things like training for handling and moving, and activities sessions.
We have a large number of volunteers from different parts of the island at the centre in Stornoway, some of whom I probably would never have met if I were not involved in volunteering. We have meetings with our service staff who work closely with us and we have outings together and also with the service users, so it is a really nice way to meet lots of people and expand your social circle.
The best thing about volunteering with Alzheimer Scotland is being part of a happy team which includes our service users at the day centre. The most enjoyable times have been when I have been able to engage a service user in an activity, be it jigsaw puzzles, colouring, conversation, that brought about pleasant memories for them or stimulated their concentration or left them with a feeling of accomplishment.
I’d encourage other people to get involved with Alzheimer Scotland. By volunteering you are helping the service user and all those families who care for them. That's a lot of people!