11/09/2020 (Volunteer Post )
There’s little one can say about STAR Project that hasn’t been said in its twenty plus years of working in the community. As an organisation it has received awards and praise aplenty but its real star quality (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) is that it remains committed to its original purpose; supporting the community in north Paisley in a compassionate and responsive way.
This week we’re hearing from Sandra, a STAR Volunteer who has supported the organisation practically since its inception. These are her own thoughts on her role, the challenges of 2020, and what her volunteering means to her.
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“Martin Luther King Jr once said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
My answer to that question is ‘I volunteer’, and have done in various ways for over 40yrs. I have been volunteering at The STAR Project for nearly 20 years, initially as a Drop-In host and more recently as a Befriender.
As a Drop-In volunteer I am able to offer a friendly welcome, a hand of friendship and a cup of tea and coffee to all who visit us. I also offer support and encouragement, and by acting as the ‘meeter and greeter’, I am able to give the full time staff the space and time to help those who have more specialist needs. Befriending is a more ‘one to one’ form of support, where we offer a friendly ear, and some much needed human contact, for people who could otherwise be nearly or completely isolated.
During this challenging time, we have not been able to have any face to face activities at the STAR Project. However, the need has not gone away, and many virtual ways have been established by the Project to reach out to our community. One of these was by extending the befriending service to provide phone support, and I was privileged to be one of those asked to do this. It has been a wonderful experience for me, as I have got to know and share many of the highs and the lows of these times with the people I am in touch with.
When I think of what the highlights of my time with the STAR have been, well there have been many…I have been asked to be a Godparent, and I also have had a child named after me! The STAR team themselves are very keen to show their appreciation for what their volunteers do, and hold regular events to say ‘thank you’. Seeing the whole building turned into a Mad Hatters’ Tea Party is something I will remember for a long time !
I would recommend volunteering in the STAR to anyone. You are fully trained and supported by the project team all the way, you make lots of friends, you can have a laugh (even in the toughest of times), but most of all, you get to make a difference. “
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STAR Project are an active team and can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Give them a follow to get involved with their online activities.