CARDS (Community Alcohol Related Damage Service) is a befriending service run by Rowan Alba.  We are responding to supporting adults referred to us as a result of vulnerabilities made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.  We need to keep connected during this difficult time.  We know exactly how you can help and we are ready to recruit 20 new volunteers to join our team who are all doing their bit to keep our communities safer places to be. if you are reading this now you are likely to join the team of over 60 who are all doing their bit to keep our communities safer places to be “.    

Daily Update from Nicola Sturgeon featuring Dr Gregor Smith. Monday 28th September 2020. 

“Mental health and wellbeing support should, in general, be provided remotely where possible. Remote working being the default position.

However, if the use of technology would not result in the same benefit as face to face meetings, the support can be delivered in person. The guidance from health protection Scotland for example relating to physical distancing, the use of hand-sanitizer and so on continues to apply in these circumstances.  It is the purpose of the meeting that is of importance here.  People who are coming together for care and support is ok, however it is important to stress again that other relevant rules in play continue to apply for example, you may have to change the lay out of the room to ensure that there is adequate physical. Distancing and to make sure the ventilation of this room is adequate too.  We can all play a part in looking out for each other just now. 

I am very grateful for those who are providing this support across the country.  The work you do is vital and the way you go about it is an inspiration. It is not easy work but you are making a difference in people lives with the health and wellbeing support that you are providing.” Dr Gregor Smith

We currently have 40 volunteers supporting people who are socially isolated and have little or no support in the community.     

These people have been living the way we are experiencing now, for over a decade, many for the majority of their lives.    

 The reasons vary and many have a history of problematic alcohol use whether they are currently drinking, in recovery or contemplating a lifestyle change.  All of them are really lovely people and there is not one volunteer that doesn’t enjoy and look forward to their contact.   

Increased social contact leads to positive health outcomes.  Human contact is vital.  As we are all finding out, without it, life changes.     

The stories of neighbours reaching out, shopkeepers walking round the corner and delivering milk, opticians doing rounds of food drops and so many more heartwarming and positive community stories that it’s never been a more rewarding time to volunteer with us.  

This number of people referred to us is growing by the day and we need volunteers to start the process of recruitment, PVG clearance and be trained remotely on line .   

You will be fully supported by Rowan Alba supervisors and fellow volunteers during on-line group supervisions and one to one sessions with the core CARDS staff who have over 20 years experience in this field to support you every step of the way.       

Becoming a volunteer during the CoVid 19 restrictions                    

New applicants will be given the service frameworks (code of conduct, role description guidance documents) and the interview questions to read over before a short interview by telephone, Zoom or Skype.  We will chat through what it is like to be a volunteer and you will be given a mentor throughout the whole process and a manager for support and supervision sessions.  In short we are looking for people who like being around other people, like having a chat and are open to receiving support and feedback from staff and other volunteers.  Our team have years of experience of managing volunteers and all of staff were volunteers themselves before stepping up to being employed by our service.  If its a door in to social care work you might be looking for or simply to do your bit during this time.  This is the place to focus your time and energy.   

Next stage Interview.

Once we have received your application form we will be in touch to interview you.  We will do this by calling you or emailing you to check when you are free.  The interview is a series of questions that we ask so that we can bring up topics of conversations that will give you a better idea of some of the things we want you to know about us and about the role.  Our main aim of the interview is to make sure you go away with more information than you came and its about you knowing enough about us so you can make a decision as to whether our values match and you view this as a worthy use of your time.  So for ease, fairness and transparency below we have a copy of the interview questions.   

Active Volunteering during CoVid 19 restrictions

If you are a current volunteer, you can find all the necessary links compulsory reading for CARDS volunteers, volunteer policies and procedures, useful forms and much more in the volunteer resources pages. We aim to give you a supportive, rewarding, interesting and challenging experience. We hope that you will find the information contained on the volunteer pages of the website to be informative and easy to use. If, however, you have any problems navigating around the pages or finding what you are looking for please contact us. We also welcome your suggestions for the website and resources for volunteers.