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An overview of volunteering the Forth and Tay Disabled Ramblers

I am sure that it goes without saying that an integral part of a disabled ramblers group are volunteers.  The group could not operate without volunteers who give their time to various functions with the organisation.

The disabled members of the group enjoy getting out in the countryside and fresh air but to do so they require assistance.  The group own a number of mobility scooters and these have to be transported to the location of the ramble therefor drivers are required to take the vans to the location.  Others are required to assist in loading and unloading the scooters.

There are occasions when a bus is used to transport members to the ramble location and in this regard volunteers are required to assist members on to the bus and into seats.  Members do travel in electric wheelchairs and they have to be assisted and made safe whilst on the bus.

During the rambles we require volunteers to walk with the group and to assist the members when help is required e.g. putting on rain covers, assisting in getting the scooter round or into marrow spaces and generally making sure that the members and volunteers are safe.

You may wish to volunteer but not be in a position to attend every ramble and this is completely understandable but with a list of volunteers we would never be in a position where a ramble had to be cancelled due to lack of volunteers.  I have to say with luck and a commitment from current volunteers this has never happened and I would be upset if it ever did.

I have always been an active walker and enjoy being out in the countryside several times a week in all weathers (we do live in Scotland).  When I was asked to volunteer with the disabled ramblers I was eager to help as I quickly realised that the members enjoy the rambles just as much as I enjoy my walks but they require assistance.  Being a volunteer with this group is very rewarding and enjoyable. 

So!!! The group needs drivers, walkers, first aiders etc to continue with the work that we do and I would encourage anyone interested to complete the enquiry for in the contacts section of this website for further information.   The volunteer co-ordinator will get in contact and in the first instance invite you to attend a ramble and see what takes place before committing yourself as a volunteer.


Forth and Tay Disabled Ramblers – Volunteer.

About 6 years ago I was contacted by Edith Potter, Volunteer Co-ordinator, asking if I would be interested in a volunteer position with the organisation.  She was looking for people to replace a couple of volunteers who had decided to retire after helping for a number of years.

Edith explained that she required drivers to transport Mobility scooters to and from the locations of rambles perhaps a couple of days a month between April and October.  The scooters would be loaded on to vans at A2B Van Hire in Glenrothes.  I understood that a number of the volunteers were retired Police Officers or wives of retired officers.  I agreed immediately to taking on the job as a driver with FTDR.

I enjoy helping people in general but particularly with the disabled ramblers and enjoy the craic when out walking on the rambles.  There is a satisfaction in assisting people who are having a difficulty on the rambles and seeing the enjoyment they get from being out in the fresh air and countryside.  Due to meeting regularly and spending time with members of FTDR I have made new friends and enjoy their company.

The main duties I perform take place at the beginning and end of each ramble day.  I meet other volunteers at the Glenrothes base where we load/unload the mobility scooters travel to/from the ramble location and load/unload the scooters.  At the location I assist in allocation of scooters and then accompany the ramblers on their journey.  During the ramble I assist in ensuring the ramblers safety by managing and overseeing progress.  On returning to the base the volunteers ensure that the scooters are parked properly and are put back on charge.  Any breakdowns or mechanical problems are reported for the information of the mechanic.

I look forward to each ramble and hope (health permitting) to continue as a volunteer with FTDR for many years to come.

Jim Webster.

About 10 years ago I was 'invited' to become a volunteer with Forth and Tay Disabled Ramblers (FTDR).  It was explained to me, that as the name suggests the group was formed to allow disabled persons to have the freeom to enjoy the countryside but to do so required the assistance of others.

As the name suggests the group are made up of disabled persons living in Fife but also to the north of the Tay and south of the Forth.  I was informed at the time of the initial explanation that a member of the group was a resident of Pitlochry.  The rambles held each year in the spring and summer months cover the areas of membership but have also been adventurous, travelling to Loch Lomond, Nethy Bridge, Glen Ogle and Callendar.

I enjoy walking and also assisting others less able than me to enjoy the countryside and so agreed to become a volunteer.  The result is that 10 yers on I still look forward to the rambles each month as I have formed new friendships through the project.  I also enjoy the fact that the disabled group and volunteers have become a big family sharing jokes and stories during the rambles and supporting each other when things get a little tough.  When the weather is good it is a pleasure to be out and about but when it is inclement (well it is Scotland) then we have to support each other with help and encouragement to ensure that everyone is safe and warm.

I find being a volunteer with FTDR a rewarding experience and I look forward to another 10 years of fun with the group.  FUNDING ALLOWING, OF COURSE!!!

New volunteers are always required and if on reading this you feel inclined to help,  complete the contact information on the contact page and the volunteer co-ordinator will get back to you.

Edith Steele.



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