Volunteer driver wheely makes a difference in his local community 22 August 2023 Paul, 68, lives in Edinburgh. A retired local authority surveyor, he started volunteering with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in 2016 as a driver in the city. His wife Susan is also a volunteer with the organisation. Timing was everything when it came to finding a volunteering role for 68-year-old Paul. Keen to find something practical to do when he retired from his surveyor role in local government, he already knew the benefits of volunteering with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland through his wife Susan and her volunteer admin role with the charity. Then, as he passed his local Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland store in Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh, he spotted a sign looking for a volunteer driver. And that was that. Seven years on, Paul is still giving his time to the organisation every week and is keen to keep participating as long as possible. Everyone volunteers for different reasons. I do it because I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing I’m helping, even if it’s only in a small way. It’s such a worthwhile thing to do. Paul said: “It’s great to be involved. I’m only giving up about three hours a week at most, and I can be flexible about when I do it, but I really enjoy it. I do a little bit, but as the advert for that big supermarket chain says, every little helps! “I’m mainly moving stock between Davidson’s Mains and Morningside, and sometimes to Stockbridge and over to Dunfermline. What I love about the shops is they are a real community and the volunteers and staff there are really close-knit. Credit for that goes to the shop managers, who do a fantastic job. “I do feel part of the bigger organisation and feel I’m contributing to the good work the charity does.” Paul had always been a customer of the CHSS store in Davidson’s Mains before joining up as their volunteer driver. It was as he approached retirement that he began scouting around for opportunities to get involved in his local community. He said: “I knew I needed to do something that would get me out of the house and out from under Susan’s feet. I was passing the shop and saw a sign looking for a volunteer driver. I went in and said I was interested. They said they were looking for someone who can drive and had a good personality. And I said ‘well, I can drive!’. “I met the manager and that was that. I started in 2016 and have been here ever since, through the pandemic and the stores all closing, and now slowly but surely getting back to normal. “Everyone volunteers for different reasons. I do it because I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing I’m helping, even if it’s only in a small way. It’s such a worthwhile thing to do.” Find out more about volunteering with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.