Meet Our Volunteers

We want to showcase our amazing group of volunteers! So read below to find out more about who volunteers with us, and why they chose to work with Changes East Lothian!


Befriender Volunteer

I’ve only been volunteering for Changes as a befriender for a few months, but I already feel part of a wonderful, supportive team of caring people at Changes. 

Volunteering is very important to me as it gives me a sense of connection to my community, and I love to meet and chat to people as they broaden my perspectives about life.  As I am new to this role, I have also enjoyed having access to free training courses to learn more about mental health strategies for myself and in support of others. 

I believe that we all have times when we need some kindness and support, and volunteering is my chance to share a little caring light in the world. 


Group Facilitator and Befriender Volunteer

I have volunteered for a while now on the First Steps to Positive Mental Health course which I originally participated in as an attendee. As time has gone on I have seen several cohorts and decided to become a Befriender too.

I am enthusiastic about the ability of so many people to help themselves and, often, each other, in a kind, embracing way, as we each make our own path. It is wonderful to be part of an effort that provides support and space that facilitates this for so many people. 

One of my passions is being in nature and I greatly appreciate the opportunities that Changes and East Lothian offer us all to pursue this. 


Befriender Volunteer

I have only been volunteering with Changes for a little above six months, however it has had a huge impact in my life. I have witnessed the change that can occur in a person’s life just by believing that someone wants to hear them out, wants to talk to them. Changes has given me an opportunity to help people and myself to feel like a part of the community. No matter where you are from, or how you have grown up, kindness has the same impact on everybody.


Befriender and Buddy Walk Volunteer

I have been volunteering with Changes for 4 years both as a Befriender and Buddy Walker.  I enjoy volunteering and found it particularly satisfying during Covid-15 lockdown as I was able to offer telephone support to two  ladies on a regular basis which helped us all during this period of isolation.  As I am a keen walker, I am also delighted to be a Buddy Walker and like to encourage clients to get out and about and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and nature to be found in East Lothian.  As I have had help from Changes in the past, I feel I’m putting a little bit back.


Buddy Walk Volunteer and Cycle Leader

I have been volunteering with Changes for about 2 years as a Buddy Walker and Cycle Leader. I started volunteering to ‘give something back’ to the community.

The idea of helping to mentor those less fortunate than myself appealed me. I’m healthy enough to be able to keep myself reasonably fit, and I’m happy to be of service to others that may need some encouragement to get out and about. Outdoor exercise is great for keeping body and soul together.

I’ve benefited in other ways too, having got to know lots of routes around Prestonpans and Musselburgh, to add to those that I already knew in Haddington, North Berwick and Dunbar. So that’s something else that I can pass on – local knowledge. I’ve always loved finding places and looking at maps, which help to give me a sense of perspective. There’s not much of East Lothian that I don’t know, but I’m always open to discovering places that I don’t.


Befriender Volunteer

I have been volunteering for Changes for about 18 months now. I had been a service user previously, and wanted to give back after I found Changes had helped me!

Anne Marie

Befriender Volunteer

I have been volunteering with Changes for 1 year and 4 months as a befriender, and I absolutely love it. It feels like such a small gesture of my time – supporting someone who needs a friend to walk with, have a cuppa with, or someone needing another to talk to. It makes me so happy each week knowing that someone benefits from me. My befriending journey is also helping me in return, by developing my abilities working with others and progressing my training as a counsellor. There are so many benefits to volunteering. I initially joined Changes because I wanted to give back to those who supported me when I needed it, but now I would truly miss the role if I wasn’t a part of it all.

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