Saurabh’s volunteering story

Published: by Mark O'Loughlin

Saurabh sits at a desk with a double screen monitor. The sign on the wall behind him reads 'Home is everything'.

Saurabh started volunteering for four hours a week in July 2023 on the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, which is funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by Shelter Scotland. The project aims to encourage Scotland’s approximately 43,000 privately-owned long-term empty homes back into use.

While Saurabh says he is fortunate not to have experienced unfit housing or homelessness himself, he has witnessed its impact in his home country. Saurabh is originally from Mumbai, which he says has the most expensive real estate in India.

‘Growing up in my city, I’ve always seen homelessness, people living in slums or on the street.’

He says that many people in India have an idea about what life is like in the UK which contrasts with the reality for those struggling with unfit housing or homelessness.

‘They (Indians) think everyone is rich (in the UK); everyone is making good money and has houses and cars. But that’s not the case. People are struggling with homelessness here as well.’

Saurabh was keen to volunteer with Shelter when he arrived in Scotland as it enables him to combine his interests and passions, while helping to tackle the housing emergency.

‘Real estate and technology are two things I am very enthusiastic about.’

Saurabh is keen to further understand the housing situation in Scotland and why so many privately-owned homes remain empty when there are many people in desperate need of a home. He is interested in how housing is viewed by some as a financial investment even though it’s a fundamental need for everyone.

‘Home is the most basic necessity one can expect.’

Saurabh recently handed in his dissertation for his master’s in project management, having previously worked in IT as a business analyst in India. He wanted to volunteer in a role completely different to his work and studies.

He has previously volunteered in India as an Android developer and loves his current volunteering role at Shelter Scotland. He has enjoyed learning more about different social media platforms as well as the vital part that Shelter Scotland plays in fighting the housing emergency in Scotland.

‘Volunteering is essential, it gives me peace of mind. It (also) gives me a feeling of accomplishment, I’m very thankful to Shelter.’

Saurabh is passionate about volunteering and the benefits it provides, and he recommends it to others.

‘People should consider volunteering because they get to know more people, make new connections and friends.’

Volunteers are vital to Shelter. From helping power our shops and supporting community events, to standing with people experiencing the housing emergency, Shelter would be unable to achieve our mission without our volunteers.

We believe home is everything. If you do too, explore our current volunteering opportunities on the Better Impact website. We’d love to hear from you.