Volunteering helps local groups

Stephen Shirkie and Scott Baird at New Cumnock pool
Volunteers from East Ayrshire Council have been lending a hand to the Holiday Project and New Cumnock Swimming Pool recently, helping them prepare for the busy summer season ahead.

The Council runs a volunteer framework, providing employees with the opportunity to volunteer within East Ayrshire. Those who sign up for the Employee Supported Volunteering framework can be released from their normal duties for a day to provide a service to local community or voluntary organisations.

The Holiday Project, which is a registered charity, owns four caravans at Sandylands Holiday Park in Saltcoats. The project offers affordable breaks to all residents from East Ayrshire with the aim of improving health, reducing social isolation, increasing family bonds and creating positive memories.

The project employs two part time members of staff and they were joined recently by Eddie Bulik and Milissa McCulloch from Vibrant Communities for a day of volunteering. The team of four rolled up their sleeves and helped to clean the caravans, preparing them for holidaymakers.

Eddie said: “My job is mainly office based and it was great to be able to do something a bit more active. The Holiday project provides an invaluable service to people who might not get a break otherwise, and it was good to be able to give something back to the community by lending them a hand.”

Elaine Bryson from the Holiday Project said: “The Holiday Project was delighted to welcome Eddie and Milissa as part of the new East Ayrshire Council Employee Supported Volunteering programme. Eddie and Milissa rolled up their sleeves, put on their gloves and set about to assist with the deep clean of our disabled caravan.

“Their help and assistance meant that it was one less caravan for our very busy staff to tackle. We really appreciated them coming along to offer their help for a morning and they got so much done. I think Milissa and Eddie both enjoyed getting away from their desks and contributing to a local charity organisation. I would recommend that local community groups/organisations sign up to the East Ayrshire Council initiative, it is so rewarding for both parties.”

In New Cumnock, Stephen Shirkie and Scott Baird from Housing Asset Services, joined the team at the outdoor swimming pool using their skills to help paint the bottom of the swimming pool, the cafe area and to do some general DIY.

Scott said: “It was very enjoyable and was great to help out this group, it was a pleasure.”

Gette Fulton, Secretary of New Cumnock Outdoor Pool said: “I think this is an excellent project. Both the boys did a tremendous job, and so quickly too.

“The standard of painting was first class. As this was our first experience with this type of project we will be better prepared and have a better plan for the volunteers to work on. The boys made it a pleasant day to work with them, thank you so much – on behalf of New Cumnock swimming pool committee.”

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