Volunteering with Dates-n-Mates: Jess and Clare share their stories

DnM Jess

Interview with Jess

Why did you choose to volunteer with Dates-n-Mates Scotland?

I chose to volunteer with Dates-n-Mates as it is a great charity and I wanted to spend some of my spare time making an effort to help others whilst still having fun myself.

Have you enjoyed it? If so what’s been your favourite part?

I have enjoyed volunteering with DnM so much! There have been loads of fun events such as the day out at the Irn Bru Carnival, pub nights, online discos and cinema nights. My favourite part is seeing the members interacting and enjoying themselves – there’s a real sense of community within DnM and it is so nice to see.

Any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

I currently work full-time and before DnM I thought I was ‘too busy’ to volunteer or at times when volunteering I’ve thought ‘I’d rather just stay in’ – it can be hard to motivate myself however it is always worth it as I feel great after volunteering at events knowing I used my spare time to support a charitable cause rather than spending my time watching more Netflix.

How has it benefited you?

We spend a lot of time looking at our own lives and how they can improve but there are people out there with many more obstacles in their lives that they have to overcome. In giving time to helping others it has made me realise this and it turn made me a much more patience and considerate person.

What would you say to encourage others to volunteer?

I cannot recommend it enough. The DnM team and the members are so supportive – It’s added a whole new dynamic to my life and given me something I can really be proud of.

DnM Clare

Interview with Clare

Why did you choose to volunteer with Dates-n-Mates? 

I wanted to expand my learning disabilities volunteering experience with a different charity. It’s always good to share your experience and learn new skills.

Have you enjoyed it?  What best part?

I have enjoyed this role as don’t always get the same members attending each events and the best part is seeing everyone’s faces having a laugh with their mates.

Any challenges that you’ve had to overcome? 

With the online virtual sessions its been a learning curve for me as still trying to remember everyone’s names and also for all of us getting used. We’re all in this together.

How has it benefited you? 

I like to keep my hand in as every day is a school day. You are always finding out new stuff whether it’s technology, or about the charity itself or the service users themselves.

What would you say to encourage others to volunteer? 

You have nothing to lose and you will meet people and new skills. Good way of getting you out of your comfort zone.

Thank you to Jess and Clare for sharing their volunteering experiences with us and for all the work they do for dates-n-mates!

Dates-n-Mates Scotland

Dates-n-Mates is Scotland’s national dating and friendship charity run by and for adults with learning disabilities.

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c/o C-Change Scotland
Melisa House (suite 2a)
Brand Place,
Glasgow G51 1DR

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Dates-n-Mates Direct 

Friendly conversations with direct experiences and opinions from people with learning disabilities brought to you by Dates-n-Mates Directors.

Dates-n-Mates will soon be hosting our first Annual Event as an independent charity.
“Love Without Limits: Upholding Human Rights” The event will be an afternoon conference. We will talk about:

• Human Rights
• Relationships, sex, and love
• Challenges people with learning disabilities experience

On the day, there will be speakers from Dates-n-Mates and other organisations, as well as some of our members sharing their stories.
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