Tackling dementia, depression and loneliness through the power of sport

A Handy Volunteer! Gordon’s story of supporting several clubs in Scotland

Gordon Handy

We’re delighted to be hosting our inaugural Scottish Volunteer Awards later this month, with support from our headline sponsor Iron Mountain.

The awards evening will celebrate the fantastic efforts and achievements of our volunteers who have gone above and beyond to keep our clubs running during the Covid-19 pandemic, but to also highlight how volunteers can make a difference to the lives of older people across Scotland.

Ahead of the awards we caught up with volunteer Gordon Handy, who supports the running of several clubs across the Central Belt.

Gordon began by explaining how he first found out about Sporting Memories and how being part of club led him to becoming a volunteer.

“I’m a Raith Rovers fan and they are a community focused football club, and they do a lot of activities for the local area. I first attended a Walk and Talk session they put on in November 2020.

“After a few sessions of that I met Gary Waddell, and he spoke to us all in attendance about Sporting Memories and what the charity does on Zoom and eventually he invited myself and a few others to a session he ran in Kirkcaldy.

“I really enjoyed the sessions and then Gary asked if I would help out preparing them by creating quizzes and topics of discussions. From there Gary asked if I would become a volunteer and get involved with leading the sessions and I’ve been involved ever since, and I now help support a couple of clubs which run on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week across Dunfermline Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes.”

Gordon has been involved with Sporting Memories throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, and one of his favourite moments came when he was able to host a special birthday session for 90-year-old club member Jim.

“One of the things I find incredible about Sporting Memories, is seeing members, whether they’ve played or just watched sport, come alive when they talk about a particular moment or event in sport which has impacted on them.

“One of our members, Jim, turned 90 during the pandemic, and he used to play professional football for Cowdenbeath and Dunfermline, so Gary and I worked together to host a special session for him. His son was able to provide us with some images from his playing career so we held a session where we reflected on his career and that was brilliant.”

The awards will be a chance for Gordon to meet up with his fellow volunteers, and he is hoping that the event will encourage others to spend some time helping out Sporting Memories.

“I think the awards ceremony is an excellent idea. I’ve met quite a few of the volunteers across Scotland via Zoom, but I think coming together finally in-person to celebrate what we’ve all achieved as volunteers will be great.

“I would say to anyone who likes any aspect of sport or speaking to people as individuals and groups - this is a great opportunity to do something you’ll enjoy. We really do provide a benefit to members who just want to come and chat and share their experiences – it helps a lot of people and can bring that spark back to them.

“Volunteering does take a lot of time and commitment, but just being at a club and speaking with them about their sporting memories can bring a great deal of joy and happiness, not just to them, but to you.”

Find out more about how you can volunteer for Sporting Memories here.

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