Volunteers Week: Interview with Constanza
As part of Volunteers Week 2021, we are sharing snippets from an interview with our fabulous volunteer Constanza. Watch the full interview here and discover Constanza’s wonderful story of volunteering with Vintage Vibes. 🥰
Thank you so much Constanza, and all of our incredible volunteers, for the difference you make. The lives of our VIPs are brightened every day because of you awesome humans!
Q) How did you get involved with Vintage Vibes?
I had recently moved to Scotland, so I was away from my family and friends. I was feeling quite lonely because I hadn’t met loads of people here.
I heard about Vintage Vibes, and I used to do something similar in Mexico – I’m originally from Mexico – so I thought it was great what they did/are doing to tackle loneliness in Edinburgh. So, I decided to join and that’s how I started
Q) How have you found your Vintage Vibes experience?
My VIPs have been so nice to get to know, and also all the team at Vintage Vibes have been so nice and supportive and hopeful to all volunteers. They do an amazing job. I’ve loved this, what is it 3 years now, that I’ve been volunteering with them now. So, yeah, I would recommend for anyone to do it.
Q) What was it like during lockdown?
Right now I’m talking on the phone to Robin. Having the weekly call with him and something to look forward to, especially in these tough times that we’re all experiencing; with the lockdown it can get quite lonely.
I thought it was going to be tough, not knowing him in person or anything. At first it was a bit weird because I was nervous, like “What can I talk to him about? We’ve never met!”.
But Vintage Vibes were really supportive, giving us notes on what we could talk about; and since that first call it all came so naturally and he’s always so positive, so friendly. So, it’s just having a friendly chat with someone every week. It’s been really nice.
I haven’t met him in person yet. We’ve been exchanging, also, some emails and pictures and things like that. It’s been lovely just having a connection with him.
Q) What have you gained from Vintage Vibes?
It’s definitely the friendships, and also the sense of community. It was in 2019, I think, that we started a Sewing Bee. We just got together to sew and learn. It was great meeting people that like to do the same things, they taught me loads.
It was just being part of that community; we’ve got a WhatsApp group of people who like sewing and doing crafts, so we exchange pictures of the things that we’ve done. That’s had a great impact on me, especially being away from home and friends etc.
Q) What are your favourite VIP stories?
With the Sewing Bee, there’s one story… George. He went a couple of times, and his wife used to like sewing but she can’t do it anymore. So he said he was going to learn. He was just starting, like me.
The first attempt he had, he did like a tiny tiny bag. And then he kept going to the Sewing Bee and I think it was a couple of months ago that [Vintage Vibes] sent a picture of him, and he had finally done some large bags, and he’s now an expert or something! So, it was really nice to see that.
And before that I used to have another VIP, Doreen, who I went to see every week. We just played Scrabble and had a cup of tea and biscuits. It was lovely. It was lovely taking the time to just have fun and enjoy someone’s company without being on the phone or distractions or anything.
Q) What advice do you have for someone considering volunteering?
I would say they should do it. You can always find the time, you can always have an hour of your week or 30 minutes of your day to call someone and just, you know, enjoy having a friendly chat with someone. And that’s just a really nice feeling.
You get to know loads of people, you get to help someone and they help you too. I’ve just learned a lot from everyone that I’ve met in Vintage Vibes. So, I would recommend for anyone who’s thinking of doing it, for them to do it!