Best suited for: people who like chatting; people who like meeting new people; people who like being on the move; people who would like to volunteer flexible hours; people who don’t mind working without a regular team for company.
Dave Watkins, Norfolk
Dave Watkins first contacted us when he lived in London. Having worked in local government, Dave used his contacts to approach libraries across the city, encouraging them to become Help Points. Last year Dave moved to Norfolk, where he continues his promotion of Help Points and has been enjoying giving talks to local community groups.
Tracy Tomlinson, Dudley
Tracy Tomlinson has raised the profile of Playlist for Life considerably in her local area. Tracy is a Dementia Friends Champion and an active supporter of the Dudley Dementia Action Alliance. Amongst other (countless!) activities, Tracy has delivered our talk to community groups, run awareness-raising sessions with dementia service providers and has teamed up with the local Rotary club to put on a playlisting event.
Loraine and Ron Gray, Greenock
Loraine and her husband Ron volunteer, originally as Speakers and now as Networkers, in the communities around Greenock. Loraine delivers the presentation whilst Ron liaises with the audience, answering questions. Not content with waiting for requests to come to them, they have raised awareness by contacting local doctors surgeries, carers centres, faith groups, community support groups and even the local Wetherspoons.
Best suited for: people who already enjoy speaking in public; people who would like to learn how to speak in public; people with their own laptop (essential)
Liz Wilson, Dunfermline
Over the last three years our volunteer Speakers have spoken directly to 21,000 people, delivering talks about the power of playlists to Guilds, Rotaries, WIs and other local groups around the country. Liz became a speaker three years ago and 80 per cent of people attending her talks say they will go on to make a playlist. Liz also enjoys speaking with school children and students and has delivered workshops for us. We provide all Speakers with the materials they need including slides, speaking notes and materials plus access to online training and telephone support. Watch Sybil’s story to see the impact that hearing one of Liz’s talks had on her life.
The Office Volunteer
Best suited for: People with a bit of regular time to spare; People in the Glasgow area; people who would like to build some office experience into their CV.
Hera Mohammad, Glasgow
Hera was studying Applied Psychology and was intrigued to learn more about the power of music. To help build her CV in her final year at Uni she volunteered for two half-days a week at Playlist for Life HQ, coordinating the volunteer Speakers diary. She would log incoming requests from Rotaries and Guilds and then match them up with Speakers on the volunteer list. Hera was a quick learner and made a huge difference to the office. She stayed with us for six months before leaving for full-time employment. We know she will go far in her career and look forward to her popping back in to the office for a cuppa.
The Event Volunteer
Best suited for: People who want to volunteer occasionally; people who like meeting people; people who like watching the world go by; people who like being at different kinds of events.
The Help Point Volunteer
Best suited for: People who want to work as part of a team; people who want to work directly with people living with dementia; people who are willing to volunteer with another organisation, rather than directly for Playlist for Life.
Breda Seaman, Dunblane
Help Points are the beating heart of Playlist for Life (you can find out more about how to set one up here). Help Points are hosted by existing organisations and are brought to life by people who are already active in their communities. They are always looking for new volunteers to help, directly with supporting people to use Playlist for Life, or to help out with other activities. Breda is a former NHS manager who set up Braeport Memory Cafe and is now coordinating Dementia Friendly Dunblane. Music is a big part of the cafe and is enjoyed by everyone. Three help points have been established in the town. Breda is a dynamo, driving people to the café, setting up the Help Point, linking with the local nursing home and schools to bring children in. With her colleague Bonnie McDowell they have provided learning events on Playlist for Life to local school children and the senior Boys Brigade.
The Spokesperson Volunteer
Best suited for: people who have directly experienced dementia and the power of music to help; people who are willing for them and/ or their relatives to speak on camera, be quoted publicly and/or be photographed.
Margaret O’Donnell, Renfrew
One of the most sensitive but important volunteer roles is people who are willing to tell their story to the media. Margaret O’Donnell and her husband Harry were the first couple we worked with. Harry had dementia and their story has been viewed tens of thousands of times. In Margaret’s words, listening with Harry allowed her to ‘fall in love with him again’. Media volunteers are looked after very carefully, and we work with them to be sure they are comfortable with making their story public and are provided with any extra support they might need.
Best suited for: people who enjoy putting on events; people who like to run/cycle/bake/jump out of planes!
Frank & Helen Dunn, Lenzie
In 2016, Frank and Helen ran a fundraising night for Playlist for Life at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Since then they have organised an annual Golf Day at their local club. Helen gathers raffle prizes from the local shops and businesses and she and Frank think creatively about putting bigger prizes for an auction (prizes have included hospitality for four at a Manchester United game and a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson, golf for four at some of Scotland’s great golf courses, boardroom hospitality at Rangers and Celtic matches, nights out to the Royal Conservatoire and more!). Golf teams set off throughout the day then come together for a meal and drinks in the club house. Helen is always calm and unruffled with her eye on every detail and Frank commands the stage as auctioneer. Together they have raised a total of £40,000 for Playlist for Life. Helen says they do it “because we love music and enjoy bringing people together for such a worthy cause.”
The Special Skills Volunteer
Best suited for: People with music knowledge; people with research or design skills; people who don’t mind working on their own.
Peter Grech, Dorset
Peter Grech first contacted us two years ago by email, wondering if a book he had researched and written might help people make playlists. That book became 100 Years: A Century of Song, has been converted into handy Spotify playlists and has become a mainstay for anyone researching the Memory Bump. Peter has also developed an easy reference poster called The Prompt – another fantastic Music Detective tool that we are now using.
Kirsteen Wright, Livingston
Kirsteen got in touch to offer her skills as a graphic designer after witnessing the transformative effect music had on her dad, who had dementia. Kirsteen has been helping us look good since the start of 2018 – designing our Memory Sessions logo and various training and information materials while juggling her job as a lecturer in Art and Design with two young children. Keep an eye out for her Music Detective badges!