Care Home Week: Guest blog from Volunteer Scotland

Care Home week blog by George Thomson, CEO, Volunteer Scotland

Its national Care Home Week and this got me thinking about volunteering and care homes.

Every care home is a community and where there’s a community you’ll find volunteers! Individuals and groups who will be making a contribution through song, dance, bingo, befriending, and a thousand other activities that brings some joy and well being to the care home community.

The culture of a care home will determine how much volunteers are welcomed into the home, the range of activities being undertaken and critically, whether residents are also volunteer participants. Such as helping out in the garden kitchen, in any events, in social activities and projects.

Volunteering is good for you, and it makes a positive difference for others. Unfortunately we often work to a scarcity way of thinking. It’s harder to get folk to volunteer. You need to have special skills, and that there are too many regulations to make it worthwhile. Yes, there are some roles that are difficult to fill, however, if you view volunteering much more about relationship building then the world your oyster.

So for Care Home Week ask yourself the question; “where does volunteering fit into our community?”

My guess is that there will not be any sphere of care that does not involve people doing things on a voluntary basis.

A few years back we ran a focus group of 7 school leavers all of whom were unemployed and without any structure. We explored whether volunteering was of  interest. I’ll never forget the facilitator asking the question if they would be interested in radio broadcasting and there was no response. She then asked whether hospital radio was an option and the room came alight with a positive response. On probing why this was the case, these vulnerable young people related to the vulnerability of people in hospital. They cared. They empathised. They wanted to help. These young folk stand for the population at large. Motivated by making a meaningful difference, building relationships, and enjoying the human connections.

Care Home week offers a chance to open up our ways of thinking to new ways of engaging our natural willingness to care.


George Thomson
CEO, Volunteer Scotland 


Last Updated on 17th June 2017 by Scottish Care

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