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My name is Megan Shaw,

I started as a volunteer for the local Alzheimers Scotland branch 3 and a half years ago, how I became involved was through a programme I was on at that particular time which was to help teenagers into employment.

I had a desire to go into some area of caring for the elderly, which I made known to my mentor. She arranged for me through the manager to visit the local day care centre called Solas. I observed the staff and volunteers and the care and compassion shown to those that use the service, and also the staff and volunteers were very warm, welcoming and extremely friendly the day I arrived.

Having observed them for the day, I knew that this was the area of volunteering I wanted to be involved in. Having been with them now as a volunteer for 3 and a half years, I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience.

It's a real pleasure when you get to meet all the service users and their families and build trusting relationships with them. At first, I started as a Friday volunteer but then I had the opportunity to come in more often. I now volunteer 5 times a week and this has allowed me to get to know all the service users, as there are different service users in each day.

I interact with service users in different activities each day, even if it is just for a chat or a walk, this helps to keep them busy and they enjoy it I have learnt a lot about Dementia, and have gone through training courses which has also helped me to have a better understanding of how Dementia affects people, the different stages of Dementia and the needs of the service users. I feel very privileged to be part of this organisation and how rewarding you feel and a real joy in being able to give your time to the community in helping those with this particular illness.