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The Impact of Volunteer Support – Pauline Quinn

Pauline Quinn is a Grocery Shopping & Delivery Volunteer with an organisation called The Food Train. We spoke to Pauline about her first volunteering role and the support she received from Volunteer Glasgow to find it.

You can find the full transcript below:

If you’re thinking about it, I would definitely recommend Volunteer Glasgow. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today doing the things…the people I’ve met, the experience I’ve had, it’s been life changing.

My name’s Pauline and my role is volunteering for The Food Train in Glasgow. I do shopping at Asda Govan and I do deliveries as well,  delivering to various areas on a weekly basis. I heard about the role… I checked online, on the website and I contacted Volunteer Glasgow and they put me in touch with The Food Train in Glasgow. I contacted them, someone phoned me, contacted me, and then they invited me in for an interview.

I went for the interview and they told me all about it – what they do, what The Food Train’s all about, and I was really interested, really keen and I started doing that a year ago and I absolutely love it. But I like going into the houses and meeting different people and it’s very very satisfying. It’s really satisfying going in and people are so grateful.

As a volunteer for The Food Train, The Food Train are… they just love what you’re doing. I mean, my boss Chris at The Food Train calls me ‘Mrs Food Train’. I think it’s because I’m so enthusiastic about what I do.  They’re so encouraging. They’re a lovely, lovely crowd to work for, all the people, all sorts…they don’t take you for granted. They’re always so grateful, they always thank you.

Yeah, this is my first experience of volunteering and I highly recommend it. I just…I just love it. The experience has impacted me in terms of…it’s…. just opened up your eyes to what’s out there and how people live and how much people depend on you. Things that you take for granted you never thought about… the people, they need you and if you can do it….

The reason why I got involved was because I had been furloughed from my full-time job which I’ve worked in for 38 years and I had some free time on my hands. So the novelty of being off work kind of wore off a wee bit and I thought I could put my time to good use. In the first instance I contacted Volunteer Glasgow via email and then someone got in touch with me via the telephone and then we were backwards and forwards via telephone conversations and emails.

The person at Volunteer Glasgow was amazing – so friendly, so helpful… we were just chatting away as if we knew each other! She was so approachable, she put me at ease and she was quite encouraging as well. So it was like… as if I’d known her for a long time, it was just so easy.

Using the website and registering was fine, it was no problems incurred whatsoever.  It’s all pretty straightforward, you know, how to do it – you just follow the link on the computer, and just…you know…you’re fine!

My advice to anyone who thinks about volunteering is do not hesitate. Absolutely go for it. It’s an amazing experience and the people who you volunteer for are so thankful, so grateful, and it makes you feel good because you’re giving something back. It could be you that needs somebody. It could be you that needs help further down the line, you might be in that situation yourself, you don’t know. But it’s a great feeling, doing this, it really is.

Volunteering is better than I expected, to be honest with you. I never realised that I would love it just so much and that it would become a big part of my life.  I would definitely…if you’re thinking about it I would definitely recommend Volunteer Glasgow. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today doing the things…the people I’ve met, the experience I’ve had, it’s been life changing. I wouldn’t do without it now.

I’m back at work full time and I’m still doing it because it’s a big part of my life and I love it… so go for it!

If you’re interested in volunteering, search for opportunities at or get in touch with

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