It's Volunteers Week!

Staff and Volunteers

Today is the start of Volunteers Week, a nationwide annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.

So what better opportunity for us to shine a light on some of the amazing volunteers that donate their time to support the work of LGBT Youth Scotland and make a very real difference to the lives of LGBTI young people across the country.

Throughout the week we're going to be sharing the stories of a few of the 80 plus volunteers who regularly give their time across the organisation. Our first volunteering star is Julia, one of our 12 digital volunteers who between them give 8 hours every week to be at the end of the keyboard for young people accessing our online support service.

"Becoming a volunteer at LGBT Youth Scotland has been one of the best decisions I’ve made over the past few years, and I would definitely recommend it to other people who are considering volunteering but have not made up their minds about any particular organisation. 

LGBT Youth Scotland looks after their staff and volunteers from the very beginning, giving people plenty of chances to meet and socialise with each other at a national level, and to gain new skills through training.

There’s a place for everyone and from the beginning I felt welcomed and valued and I was encouraged to contribute to discussions, projects, research and much more. As a result, my confidence has boosted, and also my self-esteem, as I have found a place where being myself is the best I can be.  

"I have found a place where being myself is the best I can be"

There have been times when it’s been hard, too. My main role has been as a youth worker in the Digital Team, which supports young LGBT people using online resources, through Live Chat and email.

You never know who you’re going to be supporting next, and so you need to be ready for anything. It is heartbreaking when very young people come to us in distress, with depression and suicidal thoughts, feeling isolated and inadequate, sometimes from abusive and intolerant backgrounds.

However, I have learnt that even a short conversation with someone who needs support can have massive benefits for that person, and that makes it all worthwhile for me as a volunteer." 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with LGBT Youth Scotland you can find out more and complete the application form here.