….Looking forward to it? Making plans? Getting together with friends and family?…. For many of the vulnerable people we work with the festive season can be difficult – daunting, confusing, lonely – a struggle on many levels. If you have no close family or friends, are struggling to make ends meet, are unhappy where you live, or simply don’t understand what is happening, ‘tis maybe not ‘ the season to be jolly’.
Their Citizen Advocate might be the one person who makes a difference to a vulnerable person around Christmas time. Many of our Advocacy partnerships choose to enjoy some time celebrating together in December : a meal out; a trip to the panto; coming to our office Festive Blether; exchanging cards or small gifts ( it may be the only card or gift someone receives ). Last year one of our Citizen Advocates took a festive meal for his advocacy partner on Christmas Day, as he knew he would otherwise have been alone all day, others made sure their advocacy partner was included in their Christmas Eve or Christmas morning visits. The time taken by our Advocates to do this is freely given, because of the rewards they get from being part of the advocacy partnership.
In their Christmas message this year Volunteer Scotland pointed out that ‘’2016 has been a divisive year in many ways, one where society’s differences have been laid bare. Volunteers…join communities and connect society.’’ So if you’re looking forward to this Christmas and have a little time to spare and heart to give, why not think about becoming a Citizen Advocate in 2017?
– and next Christmas you could be making a difference for a vulnerable person in your community.
By Barbara Mackenzie, Development Worker