We asked one of our volunteers, Sean, who is working on the project designing trails around Glasgow to write a wee bit about the project.
Tell us about the project you're involved in.
I am involved in providing useful and accessible information for newcomers to Glasgow in the form of a map, or trail. This has proved greatly interesting and rewarding. This project requires me (and the other volunteers) to first decide which type of theme our trail should be based on, such as healthcare, entertainment or even something so much more specific such as pet care. Once we have selected our theme we do our research and locate the best places for someone to access what they need. Lastly, the various locations of interest will then be plotted on a map with as much useful information as possible. There is the added challenge of also looking for ways information can be made accessible in both physical and digital formats. I personally have been looking into ways people in Glasgow can access free (or cheap as possible) food, clothing and transport. I have also been able to delve into Glasgow's History and traditions as a way to make my trail more engaging and educational. There is magnificent scope for creativity in this project and it is one which allows you to develop your own individual styles and form of trail.
What do you enjoy about it?
The research aspect of the project is a great privilege. I have lived in Glasgow for my entire life and yet I have found out so much about my city that I did not know before. Many of the things we have identified for immigrants are generally important to all people and the map making project has improved my knowledge of the various support networks and services in Glasgow. As a History graduate I have enjoyed promoting my citiy’s History and culture. Working with a dedicated and intelligent set of people has also been a real highlight. Everyone has their own ideas and reasons for being involved, as well as their own stories and contributions. All of the people involved in this project have both a thirst for knowledge and a desire to help design an important and useful trail. The project is also very well run by GCIN and it is reassuring to know you’re working with experienced and highly dedicated members of their staff.
Why did you become a volunteer?
When I graduated from University I had little idea of what I wanted to do. Volunteering allowed me to gain experience and give me a taste of different types of work experience before committing to an MSc or internship. I must have reviewed over 500 different volunteer options but not one of them caught my imagination quite like the map making one with GCIN. First of all the project has been greatly flexible and this is a big plus point. Volunteering has also allowed me to enhance my speaking, planning, research, thinking, analytical and information management skills. Working as part of a team is another benefit as it has allowed me to adapt to an overall team strategy and others people’s individual’s styles of work. This is a project which will give the volunteer a greater range of things to highlight on their C.V and useful experience which is applicable to almost any working environment. Lastly, as a History graduate I often found that charitable organisations have formed the basis and starting point of many social movements. Thus there is great moral pride in taking part of an assignment which will ultimately help better the city and society we live in.