Local ENABLE pioneer calls fro ‘pivotal’ volunteers

Alex Russell
Alex Russell

During Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) ENABLE Scotland would like to say a huge thank you to all the remarkable local volunteers who have helped them over the past 60 years.

Paul O’Kane, ENABLE Scotland’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “Whether you have attended a one-off event or help out regularly, we want all our volunteers to know how much we appreciate your support. All of you together have made a real difference to the lives of people in Scotland who have a learning disability.

“Now we are looking for more volunteers to join the ENABLE Scotland family. We have lots of different opportunities available from roles in our Head Office, to helping out at our local services or branches throughout Scotland. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to find out how you can help in your area.”

Alex Russell began volunteering with ENABLE Scotland when he and his family moved to Scotland over 20 years ago.

Alex and his wife began attending meetings run by the ENABLE branch in Castle Douglas and, unknown to Alex, it was soon decided that he should be branch treasurer. He was then nominated for Scottish Council, which is the group of ENABLE Scotland members who help run the organisation. It was at that time he also got involved with ENABLE Scotland nationally. In 2008 he became chairperson of the national organisation and although he stepped down in 2011, Alex is still very much involved with ENABLE but on a more local level. 

Alex believes volunteers are pivotal both locally and nationally to an organisation like ENABLE Scotland. He said: “We need more volunteers with plenty of ideas and enthusiasm. If we could establish enthusiastic branches all over the country that would do ENABLE at national level a power of good.

“It’s good to know you can pick up the phone and talk to someone who will understand what you’re going through.” 

Overall, Alex has found his time as a volunteer for ENABLE Scotland as very positive and feels he is just one of an army of people who help improve people’s quality of life by standing up for their rights.

“I just gave ENABLE Scotland a period of time in my life, like I still do locally. My time nationally was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I put in whatever effort people asked of me and I do the same locally. I’ll continue to give 100% as long as I’m needed.”

To find out more about volunteering with ENABLE Scotland please go to www.enable.org.uk/volunteer or contact Paul O’Kane by emailing paul.okane@enable.org.uk.

You can also join us on social media using #ENABLEVolunteers.