During these uncertain times, the Scottish basketball community has remained stronger and more supportive than ever. It’s important that local communities come together and support each other. It’s an increasingly difficult time for everyone but especially those who fall under the elderly, vulnerable or shielding categories. Being confined to their home with limited social interaction can have devastating effects on their mental health.
As human beings, it’s within our nature to be caring and compassionate towards others. Dave Evans is a prime example when it comes to showcasing these qualities.
As part of his role as basketballscotland’s West Regional Development Officer, he regularly goes into schools to teach children about the fundamentals of basketball as part of the CashBack for Communities programme. He also volunteers his time to coach the West Lothian Wolves in the SBC League.
Over the last few weeks, he has made the most of being on furlough by continuing to volunteer and give up his time to help charitable organisations. He volunteers for the Glasgow branch of Food Train Scotland as part of their Food Train Friends: Befriending Service.
The Befriending Service is just one of seven services available from Food Train Scotland. With this particular service focusing on pairing up elderly and vulnerable people with trained volunteers.
Dave has been regularly phoning up elderly and vulnerable clients. He offers them his companionship, a friendly voice, someone to talk to and someone to make sure everything is okay with them. Dave believes that giving someone a call and having a chat with them can really lift their spirits and make their day.
Dave elaborated on the importance of volunteering within the community:
“I’m in a fortunate position that I have great people around me that I can talk to at any time, so I felt that I wanted to be there for others that needed someone to chat to. There are people out there that can’t get out to their local clubs or currently don’t have anyone to chat to, and this can be mentally tough, so just by having someone to call them and have a 10 minute to 30-minute chat, really does make a difference.”
It’s free to volunteer as befriender and costs customers £25 per year for a membership. This membership will also give them access to the other six services on offer from Food Train Scotland.
Every week Dave takes the time to phone 10 members of the local community that all fall under the shielding category:
“I really have enjoyed making the phone calls and it does put a smile on your face when you’re told that you’ve made the member of the community smile as they love hearing from you.”
It’s great to see another local community coming together to combat the numerous difficulties that the ongoing pandemic has raised. Dave is in no doubt that, if you can, you should look into ways of how you can help your local community during these times:
“I would encourage everyone to sign up to do some volunteering if you have the time. Even just as little as one hour per week, would make a huge difference.”
Jack McLean, another one of basketballscotland’s West Regional Development Officers who works closely with Dave, spoke about how he always goes above and beyond what he is asked:
“I think Dave’s involvement is amazing. He makes the phone calls really personal and meaningful for the people he is calling. It’s a great movement for those involved and it must be having a great effect mentally for those people who are in contact with him, I really admire the work he has done.”
Once lockdown begins to ease more befriending options will once again become available on Food Train Scotland, such as; home visits and group outings.
Paul Meldrum, Chairperson at West Lothian Wolves talked about how Dave has always been excellent at utilising his free time to help others:
“It’s no surprise to us all here at West Lothian Wolves that Coach Dave has been making full use of his free time since lockdown.”
He continued to speak highly of Dave, stating that he’s pleased to see him use his fantastic skills to help support the local community during these times:
“He would normally be driving the women’s section of our basketball club, but of course the current restrictions mean Dave can’t be in his usual position of coaching and developing our many women’s players. So instead he has been using his skills to continue to give back to the community.”
Meldrum concluded his thoughts by talking about how Dave has always recognised that giving back to the community can mean a lot to so many of its members:
“Volunteering is in Dave’s DNA. He knows how much a little effort can go such a long way to those who need it most and how that little interaction can inspire volunteering in so many others. Well played Dave, keep it up and I hope to see you in your more familiar settings of clipboards and basketballs soon.”
To learn more information about Food Train Scotland, click here.
If you’re interested in volunteering for or joining Food Train Scotland, make sure you like them on Facebookand follow them on Twitter.
If you would like to share how a member of the extended basketballscotland community has been helping others during these difficult times, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
basketballscotland would once again like to thank its members that are volunteering their time to connect and give back to the local community. We hope that you remain happy, healthy, safe and well.