Our call for volunteers proved to be a worthwhile move for one local family.
Val McKee, a retired teacher from Dunfermline, decided to take up her son’s suggestion to get involved in our health programme as a volunteer. Val’s son, Kevin McKee, works for us as a graphic designer and thought she would be ideally suited. And now, Val helps support her own father, Andrew Howie (87), who attends one of our referral-based physical activity classes.
Launched five years ago, our volunteer programme sees volunteers help qualified instructors lead a range of classes for people living with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, cardiac incidents and cancer, to get more active and enjoy the associated health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity.
There are currently around 20 volunteers providing 30 hours a week of support to over 30 Active Options 2 and Move More Fife classes, two of the trusts health programmes.
Val said: “When I retired from teaching, my son, Kevin, sent me information about new volunteering opportunities within the trust. It sounded like something I would enjoy doing, that was five years ago and I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved.
“I volunteer once a week at an Active Options 2 class at Duloch Leisure Centre and I have really enjoyed meeting the participants of the class – they are a great group of people who really appreciate the support. There are now three generations of my family involved with Fife Sport and Leisure Trust as my dad joined the class about a year and a half ago following his referral – participating has really improved his mobility and general fitness.”
Evelyn Crichton health and fitness coordinator for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, explains: “Our volunteers add a great deal to the experience of participants by providing encouragement and motivation, as well as supporting instructors if there are members of the class who need extra help during exercises.
“Active Options 2 is a programme designed around the amount of physical activity a person can do, rather than the long-term health condition they have – their health conditions are varied but all can experience the health and wellbeing benefits physical activity can deliver.
“We are very proud of the health programme, it continues to develop with more recent additions such as Move More Fife programmes - aimed at those living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis, and, Mind and Be Active, a programme designed to support people with dementia and mental health issues.
“We are very grateful to the volunteers, some of whom have benefited from our health programmes themselves, for their time and support - their contribution is invaluable.”