The ALLIANCE's ALISS volunteer gives their insight on living with a long term condition and volunteering.
Until I was unwell seven years ago I’d no idea about volunteering in any guise.
Illness and the need to get as much information as I could about my condition brought me in touch with the Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland and subsequently the ALISS website redesign.
The aim of ALISS (this link will take you away from our website) is to have a website with details of a wide and diverse range of organisations and groups whose purpose is to promote health and well being within the community.
Whilst I have already received and indeed will continue to need a lot of help and support I do believe I ought to be trying to repay that in whatever way I still can .
Because my condition is rare, information can be hard to come by so my involvement is really actually quite selfish – as the ALISS website continues to develop I might find out about local services which might be helpful for me!
I’ve found volunteering on various projects interesting and at times quite fascinating around the work that’s done, often behind the scenes, to ensure our caring setup of medical and health and social care is as good as it possibly can be in the face of ongoing challenges as our population ages and changes.
I’ve also been involved with GGC Health Board the Moving Forward Together (this link will take you away from our website) initiative which is making plans for delivering health and social care into the future.
As a patient volunteering has given me more of an insight into how much work goes on in our health and social care services and realisation of how much commitment there is to deliver the best care possible.
My energy is limited so I very much want to feel that I can actually make a real contribution to the work ongoing on within these organisations – I’d hate the idea of being the “token” patient or service user.
It is my intention, within the constraints of my post illness situation, to continue to be involved in volunteering.