Hannah’s story: ‘it has been such a positive experience’

Published: by Mark O'Loughlin

A lady sititing in Shelter Scotland clothes in the Shelter Scotland office

Hannah has been a volunteer for Shelter Scotland in Edinburgh since June 2023, usually for four hours a week, helping the fundraising team with administrative duties. She is also a second-year student in paramedic science at university and works part-time as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties. When she has time, she practices Taekwondo.

As part of her studies, Hannah was encouraged to find a third-sector organisation to volunteer with to learn more about the important role they play in society. Being a long-time advocate of Shelter Scotland’s work, Hannah was keen to get involved and learn more about our work.

‘I’ve donated to Shelter Scotland for a number of years, so they were my first choice.’

When Hannah saw Shelter Scotland fundraisers on the street one Christmas, she spoke to them and found out about what the charity does to tackle homelessness and raise awareness of the housing emergency.

‘It always stuck in my mind; it could happen to anyone.’

While she could volunteer from home, Hannah prefers to go into the office in Edinburgh where she gets to know the team in person and learn about the work of other departments.

‘I’m getting a better and richer experience by going into the office.’

Hannah enjoyed learning about the importance of fundraising for Shelter Scotland, a charity that she has supported as a donor for years.

‘I think volunteering at any level is important.’

As a support worker, Hannah’s work is usually face-to-face while her volunteering role is more administrative, she enjoys using a variety of skills in her work, studies, and volunteering. As a bank support worker, Hannah gets to pick her shifts so during the summer, she took Mondays off work and dedicated them to volunteering for Shelter Scotland.

I think the people who work and volunteer at Shelter Scotland reflect the values of the organisation – it’s such a welcoming and friendly place.

As part of her course, Hannah was on an ambulance placement from March to May this year and loved the experience. Her next placement starts in October, and she is looking forward to it.

As a Shelter Scotland volunteer, Hannah helped recruit people to do the Kiltwalk by approaching different universities, societies and walking groups and asking them to get involved. Hannah and the team successfully supported people to take part in the fundraising activity and raise money for Shelter Scotland. She also contacted distilleries, restaurants and hotels and successfully secured prizes for a raffle. The Kiltwalk successfully raised £34,266 in total for Shelter Scotland.

‘As a volunteer, I’ve felt welcomed just as much as any staff member. It has been such a positive experience.’

**Volunteers are vital to Shelter and Shelter Scotland. From helping power our shops, supporting community events, and providing support to those experiencing the housing emergency, we would be unable to achieve our mission without our volunteers.

We believe home is everything. If you do too, consider one of our many volunteering opportunities. We’d love to hear from you.**