Q&A with Support Volunteer Jean

Jean Stout Picture

Jean Stout, Orkney Support Volunteer

So, Jean, how long have you been a Support Volunteer with CLAN Orkney?

10 years ago, I was coming up to my retirement, having worked in the caring profession for over 20 years. I was wanting to do something worthwhile after my retirement and this opportunity arose, following a conversation with a friend at a local event.

How do you feel your work skills helped you in your role at CLAN?

I always feel I am a good listener for my family and in my personal friendships. I was very often sought out as a confidant for work colleagues and clients.

As a Support Volunteer, what do you see as your priorities in your role?

Volunteering for me has been very positive. Clients who come into CLAN Support & Wellbeing Centre have a wide range of emotions and worries. It is like stepping into the unknown when they feel the need to come into CLAN.

I enjoy the welcome, caring and listening that they seek when they come through the door. I hope that they benefit from speaking to me and offloading their different worries. Sometimes, they may want to sit quietly and reflect on my company for support.

Jean, you have a particular interest in make-up. How are you able to bring that to CLAN?

CLAN Orkney hosts a makeup workshop in partnership with Look Good…Feel Better, the make-up industries charity. I assist a trained beauty therapist. This is a very positive session where everyone appears to enjoy a pampering, learns about cosmetics and leaves feeling uplifted.

Do you enjoy working as part of the CLAN Orkney team of volunteers?

For me, being a Support Volunteer is very gratifying in many ways. I am, as in my working life, part of a great team. The enjoyment of making new friends who are like-minded makes my time at CLAN very uplifting. We all support one another and are part of a very supported and supportive team.

Although we have set weekly shift patterns and don’t see the whole team regularly, we have the opportunity to catch up at Support Volunteer meetings and at the annual Thank Events.

The work we do as Support Volunteer’s is confidential. Of course, my family know that I volunteer at CLAN, but they don’t really know what I do on a day to day basis. This makes the role very personal and special for me.

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