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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Fife sight loss charity appoints new co-ordinator to boost vital volunteer numbers


Seescape has welcomed Graham Ross to the role. 

Fife’s sight loss charity, Seescape, has appointed a new co-ordinator to oversee their efforts to recruit more volunteers to help with their life-changing work.

Graham Ross has joined Seescape to help support and increase the numbers of volunteers who provide vital services to tackle isolation and loneliness associated with being blind or partially sighted.

The retired police officer, from Glenrothes, is the charity’s new volunteer co-ordinator and is excited to get to work to make sure the charity can support as many people as possible.

Seescape, formerly Fife Society for the Blind, supports more than 3500 people every year in Fife. The charity runs weekly groups and activities for people with sight loss to get together, have fun and make new friends, as well as a befriending service that helps people connect and get out and take part in the things they enjoy.

The charity has issued an appeal for more volunteers to come forward to help, warning that not having enough people giving their time to help was having a devastating impact on people affected by sight loss.

Graham also volunteers at Dunfermline Athletic as disability access officer, making it easier for people who have a disability to enjoy getting along to games, and was the Scottish Police Federation’s welfare and wellbeing lead.

He said his experiences, as well as work on the frontline of policing, made him determined to make a difference.

Graham Ross, Seescape’s volunteer co-ordinator said: “Our big priority is to recruit people for our befriending service. We have a waiting list of people who would like to have a befriender to help and encourage them, but, at the moment, we have more people waiting than volunteers.

“In my previous roles, I really learned that if you have a disability, you don’t need to be sitting alone in the house. It is important to get out and enjoy yourself.

“One of the things I saw as a police officer was the impact of mental health on people’s lives. It was a massive part of my police job, and you would see more and more people who were struggling.

“Volunteering is something that really helps with mental health. Not only does it help charities like Seescape tackle isolation and loneliness, it also really helps people who volunteer as well. It is a win-win. Plenty of people retire and still need to be active and want to give something back.  Giving your time gives you a purpose. It’s really rewarding knowing that you are making a difference. Once you start volunteering, it's infectious. You see the smiles on people’s faces.”

Lesley Carcary, Seecape’s chief executive, added: “We are delighted to welcome Graham to Seescape and we know he will play a really important part in our efforts to recruit and support our wonderful volunteers who do so much to help people in Fife who are impacted by sight loss.

“We know that loneliness and isolation are really big issues for the people we support, and people missing out on opportunities to socialise or do the things they enjoy because of a lack of volunteers is really hard.

“Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet new people, boost your skills and give back to your community. If you can spare an hour or two a week, we would love to hear from you."



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