Surfing the waves of success

by Sarah Fairley

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Volunteers - Morna McLarenA retirement housing manager has revealed how volunteering can lead to a successful career – using her own career as evidence.

Morna McLaren, who started at Kirkton Court in Kirriemuir as a volunteer and is now employed as Retirement Housing Manager is encouraging others to give up their time to get involved with tenants.

After completing a Business Administration degree at Abertay University, Morna joined Kirkton Court as a Silver Surfer Tutor in 2007, helping tenants to use the internet and emails to stay in touch with loved ones

After making an impression as a volunteer Morna was asked to apply for a role as a casual worker where she worked for two years before being offered the position of relief manager. After displaying all the dedication Bield looks for in it staff, Morna was promoted to her current position in 2013.

Morna said: “When I first started as a volunteer with Bield I had no idea it would lead to such a rewarding career.

“I really enjoyed my time as a Silver Surfer Tutor as I got to help tenants send emails to relatives, go on Google Earth to see where their families lived abroad, help them with online shopping and set up some Facebook accounts.

“It was great to see how much these things meant to the tenants. I really think I got as much out of volunteering as they got from me being there.”

There are currently five volunteers at Kirkton Court, two Social Activity Co-ordinators, two Befrienders and one Silver Surfer Tutor, who along with Morna help Bield Recruitmentorganise activities which will enhance and enrich the lives of tenants.

Morna continued: “Progressing though Bield to the position of manager has been fantastic and I think that starting out as a volunteer has given me valuable insight into how important their role is.

“The rapport and connection between the tenants and our volunteers is great and as Kirriemuir is a small town, there is a real sense of community. I would definitely urge anyone considering being a volunteer to go for it.

“Having volunteers makes a huge difference to service users’ lives which is really fantastic to see, so I would encourage all managers and staff to have a volunteer presence within their development.”

Bield are always looking for ways to help tenants’ live happy and fulfilled lives and attain their philosophy of being ‘Free to Be’.

The positive feedback they have received about volunteers proves that this programme is incredibly beneficial and rewarding for both tenants and volunteers themselves, but Morna’s experience is proof that it can also lead to successful careers in the sector.

Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to enquire about a volunteer position at Bield and full training and support is provided. Bield are also able to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

For more information please call the volunteer team on 0131 273 4000 or email [email protected]

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Private: Sarah Fairley

Sarah Fairley delivers an impressively wide suite of digital services to clients of Holyrood Partnership, the leading public relations agency in Edinburgh. At every stage her focus is on making sure that content shared on blogs, YouTube and social media platforms like Twitter and LinkeIn delivers real business value to clients of the Scottish PR agency.

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