Michael McEwan on volunteering - and a project close to his heart
There are many awareness days or weeks this year, and at the moment one which deserves a special mention is Volunteers Week.
Volunteers week runs from 1-7 June, and it's a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution that volunteers make in our community.
Thousands of people across the country have played a key role during this challenging time for everyone.
In 2019/20 there were around 163,000 voluntary organisations in the UK, most of which rely on volunteers.
The start of my media journey was hospital radio as a volunteer. I went round the wards to collect requests from the patients and chatted with them, as often we could be the only people that they see.
My first time as a volunteer was a good learning experience, and it helped my confidence.
There are many benefits for volunteers to gain experience, confidence and meet new people, most importantly to make a positive impact to others.
I'm now the chair of Disability Action ER in East Renfrewshire. We have a good working relationship with Voluntary Action, I'm currently on the board and I see that great work that they do.
Pre-pandemic they ran a large programme of social activity.
Last year they opened as a community hub, and together with East Renfrewshire Council Health and Social Care Partnership, they set up a helpline for local people and organisations looking for support,
signposting and community information at this time.
The helpline acts as a one-stop for local people that would like help or people unable to leave their house without friends , family or a neighbours to help out and no means to organise their own essentials.
It's uplifting to see there are so many people are offering to help out, going above and beyond to help members of their community, many who're isolated or shielding, to have people to collect shopping or prescriptions on their behalf.
I would like to say it's great work to Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire, a valuable asset to the wider community.
If you would like to find out more about the hub contact them on 0141 876 9555 or email them firstname.lastname@example.org there open Monday - Friday 10- 3pm.
Michael McEwan is a freelance journalist and disability campaigner.