Published 3 June 2021

Andrew became a Sporting Memories volunteer after being made redundant at the age of 21. Andrew talks about how volunteering helped him through a difficult time in his life – and gave him the confidence to begin looking for a new job.

Andrew is a lifelong Motherwell fan. Following his redundancy, it was suggested to Andrew by a family friend that he might like to join a Sporting Memories session at Fir Park, as a volunteer. Andrew had reservations at first. However, he found he got on really well with the older participants and they loved hearing from him.

Andrew says: "I was really down about being out of work – particularly as it came so unexpectedly. I was losing my zest for life and was becoming uninterested in my usual passions in life, mainly football and music.

"When asked to join in with the Sporting Memories group at Fir Park (home of my Motherwell heroes), I was a bit reluctant to begin with as I thought it might be a bit boring being involved with all these old guys.

"I'm really glad now that I was persuaded. I loved talking to the guys about Motherwell players of the past and their memories of games they had been at and what life was like for them years ago. They also seemed to enjoy my stories about life as a young Motherwell fan and I soon realised that we had so much in common – despite our age difference.

"I soon began to really look forward to the weekly Wednesday meetings and I was able to show them YouTube clips and the like on my phone. I then started to attend another group meeting on a Friday. Those meetings gave me quite a boost and I felt that I was contributing something useful. Apart from that there were always plenty of laughs. They helped me through some difficult times.

"I then completed my training as a volunteer and had got much more energised again in my search for full time work. I'm sure that having my volunteering on my CV helped me to get the job that I'm still in now.

"I can't volunteer now because the groups are on during the day when I'm working but I try to pop back in when I can. My time with the Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland was great for my personal well-being and helped me to get through a difficult time in my life – while also helping me in my attempts to get paid work. I also hope that it will have been some help to the members of the groups where I volunteered."