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How can you get support when people come to you for help?

Posted July 25th 2018 by Alice

a group of women sitting

In our Local People Linking project we have visited lots of groups where people have shared the same issues. For example, when we went to the Fairweather group they mentioned transport as being a big problem which was also spoken about a lot when we visited the RAMH Causeway group.

We recently went along to speak to the Blether and a Brew group at Mearns Kirk and heard about all the great stuff people from the group are doing. The church has several groups, such as starting a charity called Helping Hands that runs activities like lunch clubs for people with dementia and a bereavement group to support people experiencing loss. Because of all the amazing work being done by people at Mearns Kirk, the church now has a reputation for getting things done and being a place where people can get support.

Volunteers at Mearns Kirk who help with all the activities are, however, already spending a lot of their time supporting people and running activities and have really felt the pressure as now more is asked of them.

“There is only so much volunteers can do”

“People get in touch to see if we can visit people at home but we can’t. We do a lot, which is rare for East Ren. That’s why people keep contacting us asking us to help even if they live very far away.”

“People are retiring later so there are less women about to volunteer”.

“There needs to be more support for organisations that are doing good work. Just because you’re doing well it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get help.”

It was really interesting to hear how the group felt that as there isn’t enough support for people in East Renfrewshire, or people are not aware of the help they can get, people contact the church even if they live quite far away. Although people at the church have been pleased to know that they have a good reputation for helping people, this has created a lot of demands on them which have been difficult to maintain.

In our Local People Linking sessions we are not only speaking about human rights and finding out what issues are affecting people but we are also working with groups to solve problems they are experiencing. Part of that has been making sure the people at Mearns Kirk have lots of copies of our Tips for Getting People Involved resource. In the guide we share advice for community groups on everything from making sure volunteers have clear roles to how to get practical help. We hope that through sharing this guide we can help find solutions for some of the issues that the group have been experiencing.

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