Rosalind Sneddon – Je Ne Regrette Rien!
For Rosalind Sneddon, volunteering has been an excellent opportunity to occupy her time, meet new people, learn skills and show that ageing can be fun!
Rosalind volunteers for Edinburgh Leisure’s Ageing Well project – a scheme for the over fifties which provides a range of activities to help people keep fit, active and socially engaged. Having been made redundant in 1998 from her office job where she worked for over 20 years, Rosalind has been volunteering ever since. Her roles include assisting with walking groups twice a week and supporting a weekly curling class at Leith Community Centre. She also does outreach work with the project worker, giving talks to community groups about Ageing Well and promoting the activities on offer, such as knitting, singing, curling and walking… “There is something for everybody!” she says, clearly relishing her role as an ambassador for the project.
“I’ve had a lot of help, guidance and support over the years from the Volunteer Centre and I found out about this opportunity through them. Having been socially isolated with very little money and too much time on my hands I just wanted to have something to go out and do, hopefully to learn new skills myself, give me more confidence and also to help others. Volunteering has made a big difference to my life. I had shut myself away from people and it was affecting my self esteem. Now I feel healthier, I have made friends and I have something to look forward to every day.”
“A lot of the people who come to the Ageing Well groups are in a similar position to me; it’s the company they need. Some have disabilities and come with their support workers, perhaps because they’ve lost confidence. It’s a mixed bunch and there are all ages. The buddy swimming is another thing I want to get involved in: teaching people how to swim and hopefully it would help me keep the weight off too!”
“I’d recommend volunteering to anyone” says Rosalind, “particularly if they can’t find work and are stuck at home with not enough to do. I’ve had lots of training and support. In the past it even helped me get a paid job as a care assistant.” When asked if there have been any regrets or drawbacks at all to her volunteering, Rosalind is emphatic: “No! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done!”