All posts by julielaird3

Volunteers’ Week 2016

Volunteers’ Week 2016

It’s Volunteers’ Week again – the week when we officially celebrate the hard work and achievements of those who give up their time to help us with our work supporting disabled adults and children across Scotland

Volunteersshop poster are a vital part of Capability Scotland’s shops’ team. Without them we simply couldn’t run our 14 shops across the country. People like Paddy, Diana, Mary and Fiona – who give their time to our Morningside shop and were awarded this year’s Shops Volunteer Team of the year accolade – all contribute in so many different ways to making our shops a success. It was lovely that we were able to highlight their efforts with a poster display thanking them individually for the unique skills they bring to the shop.

Charity retail is unique in the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes sorting and preparing the public’s lovely donations ready to be sold and it’s nice to be able to acknowledge these often unsung heroes like Diana and Fiona who work tirelessly mainly in the back making sure the shop can run smoothly.

This ybettyear our Kirkcaldy shop moved premises from The Postings Shopping Centre to a new location at the North end of the High Street. Our April 2016 volunteer of the month Betty, played a key role in the shop move. Betty, who has a background in retail, and has volunteered with us for two years since taking early retirement was able to put her skills and experience to good use in helping the move go as smoothly as possible.

And our team of volunteers are not just happy volunteering in store. Many of them have undertaken fundraising challenges and events on our behalf. One of our volunteers, Stephen even enlisted the help of his four legged friend, Susie, to raise money for us by taking on a massive climbing challenge which saw him conquer seven Munroes over a 40k trek.

Our volunteers do so much and it wouldn’t be possible to list each one of them here. Volunteers’ Week gives us a focus to shout about all they do for us but of course we are grateful for their efforts all year round and we are always looking to welcome new volunteers to our team. We have opportunities in our shops across the country and we would love to hear from you if you are interested in helping us with our work.

Get in touch with your local shop to find out more about volunteering opportunities in your area.

In the meantime have a great Volunteers’ Week

 

 

12/12 for Andrea as she completes fundraising challenge

Capability Scotland Support Worker and fabulous fundraiser, Andrea Gavin, set herself a unique challenge at the start of 2015.  Andrea decided she would take part in a different running event every month of the year to raise funds for Capability Scotland.  Throughout the year Andrea, who only started running in 2014, participated in runs including the Glasgow Women’s 10k, the Edinburgh Half Marathon and the Great North Run finishing up with a Santa Dash in Glasgow in December.

Below Andrea tells us more about her 12/12 challenge.

This time last year I was looking at my calendar for the year ahead and it was slowly but surely filling up, averaging at least one run per month. I decided to make it a personal challenge to make sure I did one run every month and realised that this would be a great opportunity to raise some vital funds for Capability Scotland at the same time.

How did it go? I’ve conquered ice storms on Arthur’s Seat, stoated around the trails at Tulliallan Police College; completed a run on the Murrayfield turf; ran 5.2 miles uphill (and the subsequent 4.8 miles downhill) in Edinburgh; ran the Women’s 10k in Glasgow, a race I’ve always wanted to do; ran for a beer and a burger; and then for an ice cream; ran trails where I grew up; became a Great North Runner; completed a half marathon in Glasgow; ran in the dark up and over Arthur’s seat and dashed around Glasgow with lots of other Santas.

 

It’s been amazing, tough, but amazing. I’ve learned so much about running, my body and just what someone can do when they put their minds to it. Knowing that this challenge was not just a personal challenge for me but that it would help the families using Capability Scotland’s children’s services inspired me to keep going over the 12 months.

And it doesn’t stop there, next year it’s a marathon!

You can still donate to Andrea’s Just Giving page on www.justgiving.com/12over12

 

Are you ready for Battleshops?

This autumn, Capability Scotland is encouraging companies to sign up to the Battleshops challenge. Battleshops is a charity shop takeover challenge which gives you and your colleagues a chance to show off your creativity and entrepreneurial skills – each team will be allocated to one of our shops and will compete to see who can raise the most cash on the day. If the company you work for allows for a day out of the office to volunteer then this could be great way to use that day. You can find out more about Battleshops on our website:

Back in May, two teams from Standard Life took part in the first Battleshops challenge in Edinburgh. One of the teams took over our shop on Nicolson Street, while the other went out to our branch in Corstorphine. Their challenge was a great success, with fundraising events held in the lead up to the big day, loads of stock taken in to the shops and both teams doubling the sales made on the same day last year. I went out to meet each team to find out how they made their Battleshops challenge such a success. Here are some of their tips:

 Get organised ahead of your big day

There should be an element of fundraising and stock generation to any Battleshops challenge. We ask each team taking part to aim to raise £500 for Capability Scotland, through fundraising before and in the shop on the day. Our teams from Standard Life raised £400 ahead of their challenge by holding a bake sale and quiz at the office, giving them a great head start. This is also an excellent way to raise awareness and let your colleagues know what you are doing to support a great cause.

“I’m new to Standard Life so it seemed like a good opportunity to get involved with my colleagues and help a good cause.” Sally

Incorporate your interests

If you have creative hobbies, why not use these as part of your Battleshops challenge? Debby Kelly, who was part of the team who took over our Corstorphine shop, is a keen jewellery maker, so she entertained customers by holding an instore jewellery demonstration. The beautiful bracelets she made were available for sale and helped raise more money for Capability Scotland.

“It’s enjoyable to design your own window display, and to have Debs making jewellery. You get to meet new people, and you are helping a great cause.”Yvonne Murray, Standard Life

The better the donations, the more money you raise!

The team who took over our Costorphine branch managed to get hold of some brand new Frozen dolls, still in their original packaging, which were nabbed by a passing customer almost as soon as they were placed in the window! The better quality of the items collected for your challenge the more likely you are to perform well on the day. We ask you to try and generate 10 bags of donations per team member so encourage friends, family and colleagues to help with collecting donations, and remind them that giving to a charity shop isn’t just about getting rid of old rubbish!

“I’ve got a disability, rheumatoid arthritis, which is an invisible disability. We had a few choices, but I immediately wanted to support Capability Scotland. When you’re affected by disability, it makes you think. We’ve really enjoyed the challenge. The folk at work have been so good. My friends and family donated masses of stuff – it was about 20 bags. And that’s good because then others get involved in the cause too.” Debby

Would you and your colleagues like to take part in a Capability Scotland Battleshops challenge? Please contact Lucy.Christopher@capability-scotland.org.uk

Why I signed up to #LoopTheLoch this autumn

Last month Elise signed up to take part in Loop The Loch which takes place this September, an accessible 13 mile challenge which circumnavigates the picturesque Loch Leven in Perthshire. We caught up with Elise recently to find out her inspiration for signing up:

Why did you sign up to Loop The Loch?

As part of my job at Capability Scotland, I work closely with adults in our services and continuously see the positive impact Capability Scotland has on individual’s lives. So I decided it was time to take part in a challenge to help support this great work. The fact that Loop the Loch is accessible and enables wheelchair users to take part is fantastic and I can’t wait to complete the challenge with our team captain.

What fundraising will you be doing in the lead up to the event?

The first thing I think of when deciding to fundraise is cake…everybody in our Glasgow hub loves a sweet treat, so I will begin my fundraising with a bake sale. I have also set up a virgin fundraising page for the event and hope my family and friends will dig deep and be generous in their donations.

What is the one thing you are looking forward to most about the event?

Most definitely being part of a team and taking in the beautiful views of Loch Leven

What would you say to other people who are think about signing up?

I would say ‘why not be the inspiration for more people to do great things’. I volunteered recently for the Kiltwalk in Edinburgh and was inspired by those completing the gruelling 26 mile course (you can see me with my fellow volunteers in the picture above). I hope that by participating in Loop the Loch that I can help to inspire more people to support the great services that Capability Scotland provides across the country.

So what are you waiting for, find out more and sign up to join Elise over on our website now!