“It’s a friendship”, says Helen McCormack about her experience as a volunteer shopper for Mrs Annie Buchanan. The two ladies exchange a warm smile and Helen adds, “I really enjoy volunteering and it’s never a chore”.
Helen has been a volunteer with the Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network for two years. During that time, she has shopped once a week for Mrs Buchanan who lives in St Cyrus. She collects the weekly shopping list, drives to Montrose to do the shopping and then brings it back to St Cyrus. Occasionally, when she feels like it, Mrs Buchanan will come along on the shopping trip too. Helen will also shop around to find any specific item that is needed and has helped with occasional phone enquiries.
“It’s a marvellous thing and I really appreciate it”, Annie Buchanan says of the shopping service provided through the Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network. “It’s made a great difference to me and I can go shopping too if I want but don’t have to if I don’t feel like it”.
It is obvious that a friendship full of good humour and mutual respect exists between Helen and Annie. They laugh a lot and enjoy each other’s company. Helen sometimes brings along one or more of her grandchildren on the shopping trips. “It’s like I’ve joined a family”, reflects Annie.
“If you’ve got something to give someone else, give it” suggests Helen. “If you’re helping someone, it gives you a lift and it costs you nothing to give someone your time”.
There are a number of organisations that depend upon the work of volunteers to provide services for older people in Kincardine and Mearns including Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network and K & D Befriending. If you are interested in volunteering with one of these organisations, you can find more information and contact details on the Community Planning website at www.ouraberdeenshire.org.uk/kincardinemearns.