Experiences of Outreach Sessions
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Experiences of Outreach Sessions

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries

​​​​Macmillan Information & Support Volunteers Share their experiences of volunteering at our outreach sessions

Frances Graham

I was working in Dennistoun library doing my usual Monday shift and Craig Tobin asked me if I could help out with an Outreach session in Asda at the Forge Shopping Centre. Not knowing what it involved and due to Craig's persuasive smile, how could I refuse? Thrown in at the deep end but hugely enjoyed it.
...every time I am at an Outreach Session I learn something new​
I have volunteered at Boots at The Fort, the New Stobhill Hospital, Asda at The Forge and Tollcross Leisure Centre.

I was very wary and nervous the first time I did an Outreach Session - being in the unknown - however, after my second time I realised that I was really enjoying the experience which is very different from working in the libraries. Working in Boots and Asda is very different to working at Stobhill Hospital. In the shops there is a lighter feel to the atmosphere as most folk are out to enjoy their shopping experience. At Stobhill Hospital most people are attending appointments for various ailments or accompanying others to their appointments. I find in the hospital people are more eager to come forward to our table and talk about their concerns. I gain so much from both environments as every time I am at an Outreach Session I learn something new (and more often than not learn many things from the people I speak with). I feel very supported both by the Outreach team and the staff of the various places I have been working. I feel that the Outreach is most important to Macmillan as often the people I speak to actually come into the libraries at some point for more information.
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Hazel McKenna

I started volunteering at outreach sessions because I believe it is imperative that residents of Glasgow know that the library service is available.

I find the sessions fun and interesting.​
In 2015, I volunteered at the new Victoria hospital (6 times), Gorbals Co-op, Gorbals Fayre, Pride, and Asda Parkhead.

I find the sessions fun and interesting. They are busy, because I stop everyone I see, and I feel more confident in approaching strangers and interacting with them because of this.


I always feel supported by staff.

Margaret Harrigan

I volunteered at an outreach session initially to get more experience of my role with Macmillan in Penilee Community Centre.
 
It was a very enjoyable afternoon. Busy centre. Spoke to many people about the service, handed out leaflets and made people aware of what we do in the libraries. Many people wanted to donate which we could not accept. We were well supported by Pip throughout.

Maura Farquharson

I decided to try an outreach session just for a change really. Other volunteers recommended the outreach services they had done. But also because the library service is still quite quiet and you don't feel it is the best use of your time (I know that is the nature of a drop in service leads to quiet times). Bored is probably the wrong word but along those lines...

I have only done two sessions one day after the other. The first day was at QEUH and the second was at the New Victoria Hospital. I enjoyed both despite them feeling quite different. At the QEUH it was mainly staff we engaged with whereas it was patients or their families we talked to at the New Victoria. If I had to choose I think I preferred the Victoria. It is a different thrust at outreach as the conversations are usually not as in-depth as in the library setting.

I think you have to be a bit more alert for the outreach. It is certainly busier than the library services at either Pollok or Gorbals where I am normally based. The support was great so I did not feel too much like a fish out of water.

Maureen Mullen

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I saw volunteering at outreach as a way to engage with a wider group of the public and make them aware of services provided by Macmillan at Glasgow Libraries and other Macmillan services and their partners.

In 2015 I volunteered bi-monthly at the New Victoria Hospital, Glasgow Pride and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. In 2014 as well as the New Victoria and Glasgow Pride I volunteered at Deaf Connections and Skypark O2 staff event.

I have always enjoyed being at outreach events and found them to be a positive experience. I feel they create the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of people and raise awareness of our services and now we have a private area at outreach the opportunity to offer a more responsive and personal service is available.
I have always felt supported by staff.​
I believe that by amalgamating the original outreach volunteers with information and support volunteers at libraries has created an opportunity for information support volunteers to use and adapt and maintain skills they have and stay motivated especially if they are based in a library which is quiet. So much so that when I am chatting to other volunteers or doing 1:1, I share how I have found the experience and encourage others to give it a go.

As with all my experiences with Macmillan at Glasgow Libraries I have always felt supported by staff.

Edna Moody

The outreach services are a great way to meet people and fellow Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries volunteers. I find the sessions help me to gain an insight into the things that people affected by cancer find helpful such as different Macmillan information and other services. They are a useful way to keep my skills up to scratch and learn more about all of the different services we can signpost into.

I have volunteered at lots of different places!  Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Boots in Silverburn, New Victoria Infirmary, Sky Park, Cancer Support Scotland’s Heel Walk and Pride… the list goes on!

Each session is very enjoyable, fast paced and pretty busy. I always find it surprising the different groups of people who come over to chat, old, young, male and female and there is always a wide variety of questions asked. I always feel very well support by Craig T and Pip who are there with me when I volunteer.

Jeanette McGeown

I enjoy every minute of being an Information & Support Volunteer in Pearce Institute, being in the cafe with people coming and going it can be busy. I certainly did gain further skills from the sessions.
I certainly did gain further skills from the sessions.​

Staff have been very supportive and are always there to help with my own cancer journey as well as my journey as a volunteer. Love it!



Catherine McLaughlin

I thought an outreach session would be fun and I would meet a different group of people and get to know you and Craig a bit.

I went to the outreach at Sky Park with Craig and Penilee Community Centre with Pip. I really enjoyed them both. The one at Sky Park was busier than the Penilee one. At both venues the organisers could not have been more helpful and I felt much supported. I would encourage other volunteers to do some outreach particularly if their own library is quiet and they are not seeing service users regularly. 

It is good fun and a different experience but still communicating about cancer support.

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