Today is part three in a series of Q&A’s with the people who keep our Glasgow base running – from our Outdoor Programme Leader, Chris, to our VS volunteers; Jennifer, Ewan, Louise and Fraser!
Today we’re talking all things Venture Scotland with VS volunteer Ewan Gourlay!
Ewan. Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always been an outdoorsy person? What do you get up to outside of VS?
I don’t work anymore so I now have an opportunity to do something I want to do rather than something I need to do!
Many of my own interests are in outdoor activities. I enjoy hillwalking, cycling and golf at home. My holidays away from home tend to be active holidays such as skiing and golf, plus occasional alternative trips such as sea kayaking. And I want to see more of Scotland!
Away from my ‘outdoorsy’ activities my time is spent involved in my local church and with family & friends.
You’ve been volunteering with Venture Scotland since 2018 – what got you involved with VS in the first place?
I used to drive past the old High St Glasgow office and was curious what Venture Scotland was all about. Once I stopped work, I met with Skills Development Scotland to discuss possible employment and voluntary work, particularly in something for people, here in Scotland. They initially mentioned Venture Scotland. They also drew my attention to Goodmoves and VolunteeringGlasgow – it was an email from Volunteering Glasgow that prompted me to contact VS.
What do you like most about volunteering with VS? What’s it like working with our Glasgow YP?
Obviously, I get to do the outdoor activities I enjoy. But it’s not just that.
I recall one YP who was particularly shy in a group. We were paired together on a canoe trip. Once we got going and were able to chat ourselves, she never stopped! And she finished the trip with a smile.
On another occasion we were rock climbing with a YP who really struggled to relate to the group and was very frustrated as he struggled with the activity. However, when chatting one-to-one over lunch he calmed down and we had a great blether.
As a group, one game we played was to look through a magazine and tear out words and pictures that explained how we felt. It was amazing to see and hear the imagination that some people had to put together a story of their feelings.
I’d like to think occasions like this help to support the YP and staff of Venture Scotland.
Venture Scotland uses the outdoors as a vehicle for improved mental health – what do the outdoors mean to you?
Being active, breathing fresh air, clearing your mind and seeing Scotland.
If you could only take part in one more activity session with Venture Scotland, what activity would it be and why?
Canoeing on calm waters on a warm summer day with a gentle breeze. We would listen and look at nature as we silently glided through the calm waters. It’s just so relaxing.
What’s your favourite joke?
Old Andy Cameron joke…
A guy goes into the bakers and says is that a donut or ah-ma-wrang (a meringue). Baker says, naw, yer right enough, it’s a donut! (Very Glaswegian, like all jokes, it’s all about the way you say it!)
If you want to help Ewan and the rest of our Glasgow team to keep #ChangingYoungLives please follow the link to our Save Glasgow campaign – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/save-Glasgow?invite=true