Volunteers Week 2022 is all about recognising the brilliant volunteers we have at Sporting Memories that help to keep our clubs running all across England, Scotland and Wales.

During the week we will shine a spotlight on some of our volunteers as they share their journey with us as well as explaining how their volunteering helps older people in their local communities who are either living with dementia, isolated and lonely, or looking for somewhere to share their passion of sport.

In our latest piece, we caught up with Liz Price, who is Volunteer Coordinator in Scotland. Liz began by explaining her journey at the charity which started over five years ago.

“I started with Sporting Memories in 2017 when I had already retired and the charity was looking for a Volunteer Coordinator in Scotland. I just thought that sounds interesting – my son, David, who is now the charity’s Training Officer, was also involved as a volunteer at the time.

“It was a steep learning curve but it was so good to find and meet so many volunteers who were passionate about supporting older people living with dementia, although I feel our clubs have really broaden their approach since those early days, where they will welcome older people or anyone really who wants to join our sessions for a chat about life and sport.”

Liz heaped praised on our volunteers across Scotland for the huge amount of time and effort they put in to supporting their clubs, with this being particularly highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since I’ve been in this role, I’ve spoken to many volunteers who all say how much not only they get out of it by seeing the positive impact their making on their club members – whether it’s sparking a memory in someone, having a good chat and a laugh and want to come back the following week.

“Our volunteers go the extra mile all the time - so they often share their experiences via word of mouth and also encourage people they know locally to attend sessions, so they’ve also helped out clubs to grow as well.

“I also have to mention lockdown because our volunteers were amazing throughout that period – some were visiting members, doing activities in their garden when it was allowed and they delivered Sporting Pinks to those at their homes which shows the efforts they go to keep their members engaged.”

This week is our chance to recognise the brilliant efforts of our volunteers and Liz was keen to highlight how much of an impact they have on the charity’s work across Scotland.

“Volunteer Week is so important because we owe them so much and we would not be able to run the clubs we do without them. They turn up week in, week out, they often bring along members who are isolated and lonely and who wouldn’t be able to attend without that support. It’s phenomenal what they do and we owe them so much thanks.”

We’re always on the lookout for new volunteers across England, Scotland and Wales and Liz had some words of encouragement for those wanting to give their time us and our clubs in the UK.

“I would say please come along and join our lovely group of volunteers who will also support you when you start to volunteer. We will help you with training and guidance to help you along the way.

“If you love sport or have a passion for helping people in your community, or both, you definitely have something you could give to our clubs and we would love to have you as part of the Sporting Memories family!”