Celia Moreno tells us about her experiences volunteering at the ALLIANCE.
I arrived in Scotland two years ago, not speaking English. I joined an ESOL class to improve my English and after 6 months I decided I wanted to volunteer to help others who come to this country and to help improve my English.
I contacted Volunteer Glasgow to help, I must say that the team there is amazing, I remember these times so well, and I loved it.
The first role I had was volunteering with refugees in Glasgow. At the same time, I started to volunteer in the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) with Dementia Carer Voices, where I have met incredible people. Laura, the Administrator from the team, especially has a lot of passion in supporting me with any questions that I have and I thank her.
The team are doing an excellent job with dementia issue in Scotland. Making this issue more known and making sure that people who deal with this big issue do their job with kindness and passion, and making sure they never forget that people with dementia are not numbers or beds. Quite the contrary, they are lovely people with a condition, but they are not the condition itself.
Also, now I am lucky to volunteer with the ALISS team, who are also based in the ALLIANCE, and as Doctor Who would say, all of them are simply “fantastic”. I really, really love it.
Here I am learning more than ever about Glasgow and Scotland. It is very interesting. I am working on the new ALISS website adding resources from all around Scotland. ALISS helps people find and share resources that support health and wellbeing. The new website will be one of the best tools to make their life better, and healthier, in the easiest way ever. The team helps me not just with my English, they help me to get the confidence to speak and include me. They invite me in on their meetings and in their work in general, making me feel happy, telling me what I am doing well and what I am not, and I feel really pleased.
The opportunity to be a volunteer has been amazing, not just to help with my English but also to meet people and collaborate with different organisations which are doing a really good job for society. During this time, I have met good organisations and not so good organisations, I have met good people (and some not so good people) but I must say that most of them have been amazing and from both experiences I have learnt a lot about Scotland and its people.
It has been one of the best experience of my life, and I was not born yesterday :(. For this thanks to all of you, team Dementia Carer Voices and team ALISS, especially to you Lorna, the ALISS Coordinator, who even when struggling with my English pronunciations you give me the chance to speak out without any kind of embarrassment, really, really thank you.