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Interviews with Care and Share/Riverside Church Staff and Volunteers

Alice Blakemore and Assistant Pastor, Ian Gall

Alice:  What for you is Care and Share all about?

Ian:  Care and Share offers a safe place to come to where clients feel wanted and can access the help and support they require.

Alice:  What is so special about it?

Ian:  We offer practical support for physical, emotional and mental issues, and educational needs.

Alice:  What do you personally benefit from in your role here, and how long have you been involved?

Ian:  Iíve been involved since February 2008, I have got to know the clients, and learned a lot about homelessness and othersí experiences.

Alice:  How did Care and Share start?

Ian:  It was an idea of Tracy McAllister, who used to be the homeless nurse in Ayr for NHS Trust Ayrshire and Arran.

Alice:  How is Care Share funded?

Ian:  Weíre funded by Riverside church, South Ayrshire Council and the local health board.

Alice:  Do people ned to be referred?

Ian:  No, just come along on a Wednesday from 2-4pm.

Alice Blakemore and Church Volunteer, Bobby Robertson

Alice:  What does Care and Share try to do?

Bobby:  Our aim is to provide a one-stop facility and opportunity to discuss any individual issues with professional staff.

Alice:  What kind of support do you offer?

Bobby:  Riverside Church provides the premises and the opportunity for volunteers to help where needed.  Outside professional services come in to provide support in the form of oral health, social work, housing benefit, podiatry, computer training creative writing, arts and crafts etc.

Alice:  What do you personally gain from doing this and how long have you been volunteering?

Bobby:  Iíve been volunteering for a year.  Itís an opportunity to meet, chat and share experiences and interests.

Alice Blakemore and Church Administrator, Jim Cobb

Alice:  What for you is Care and Share all about?

JIm:  The care and support of the homeless and vulnerable people who are generally in need.

Alice:  How does the drop-in work?

Jim:  Volunteers and qualified workers from outside agencies see clients on a one-to-one no-appointments basis.

Alice:  What do you personally gain from working here and how long have you doing this?

Jim: I started right from the beginning in 2008, and have been with Care and Share ever since.  It has given me great pleasure in building up relationships with clients, volunteers and other agencies.  I have taken part in various activities like team building and hillwalking, and have got to know the clients on a first-name basis.
Interviews of Members on Care and Share and Related Activities

Creative writing group member, Alice Blakemore interviews Scott McLean.

Alice: What trips have you been on?

Scott: Mountain biking, hill walking go-karting and weíre going camping this month (April).

Alice: Whatís the most memorable experience youíve had?

Scott: I like outings, learning different skills, hillwalking  Ė good to get out and about and itís something different.

Alice: What do you like about Care and Share?

Scott: I meet different people, and I get something to eat, and get help with the social and housing etc. They are very supportive and I like the activities they do on Wednesdays Ė chilling out, and learning different skills.

Alice: If Care and Share wasnít there what would you be doing?

Scott: Nowt!

Creative writing group member, Alice Blakemore interviews a member who wished to remain anonymous

Alice: Have you been on any of the outings?

Anon: Yes, horse riding and go-karting

Alice: Whatís the most memorable experience?

Anon: Go-karting Ė I enjoyed it  it was exciting Ė shame I came last.

Alice: What do you gain from Care and Share?

Anon: Food, friends, learning things on computer, outings, and the staff are nice

Alice: If Care and Share wasnít here what would you be doing?

Anon: Iíd be in the bookies.

Creative writing group member, Lisa Dunbar interviews Danny.

Lisa: Have you been on any outdoor activities with Care and Share?

Danny: Yes, go karting, abseiling, canoeing, fishing and horse riding.

Lisa:  What did you enjoy the most
Danny:  Go-karting and horse riding.

Lisa:  What was the highlight of these?

Danny:  Getting confident after the first lap of the go-karting and starting to overtake the others.  Felt like Michael Schumacher.

Lisa:  Would you like to do it again?

Danny: Yes!

Alice Moreblake interviews fellow creative writing group member, David Morris.

Alice: Have you been on any of the trips?

David: Yes, canoeing and go-karting

Alice: What is your most memorable moment?

David: At the go-karting I took Ian out of the race and he crashed into the tyres

Alice: What did you achieve from it?

David:  A sense of wellbeing.

Alice: Would you do it again?

David: Oh, definitely

Alice: What does Care an Share mean to you and where would you be if it wasnít there?

David: Food, mingling with friends, creative writing .  If not, temporary accommodation, no help, no voluntary work.

Alice: How do you think itís changed your wellbeing and health?

David: Was a client, now a volunteer.

Alice: What do you like/dislike about Care and Share?

David: Like: company, atmosphere, food, activities. Dislike: not open long enough.  Iíd like to see it open three days a week.
Interviews with members of Gillian Beechís Arts and Crafts Group on the meanings behind the images of the Care and Share mosaic

Lisa Dunbar interviews Angela Boyd

Lisa:  What is your personal experience behind the design you created for this panel of the mosaic?

Angela: The bottle tops reminded me of sherry and the glass, of alcohol, of smashing bottles and drinking ĎMansion Houseí sherry.  Black tops represent the dark side of my life and how it used to be.  The clock face in the centre reminds me of all the time I wasted, and I was losing my marbles.  

The money represents buying the cheapest drink and the corkscrews were in cheap sherry.  My partner bought the cheap stuff and then went on to mine.  He became aggressive and violent towards me.  Weíd been on drugs together before we went to prison.  When we came out we decided to stay off drugs, but we hit the drink in a big way.  My nana was dying and she wanted me to get away from my partner.  She helped me to come off the booze.  With her help I stopped.  My partner was in prison at the time.  She had her three dying wishes granted.  I got my teeth done, stopped the drink, split from him, and Iíve been off for just a year, and my life has improved tremendously.  I now have my own flat, and my life is much better.  

The gold tops represent the jewellery that I used to sell for booze, but now when I get gifts I keep them.  The coloured stones represent the light in my life and how much brighter I am.

I came to Care and Share for food and everyone was nice.  I feel at ease here and enjoy the company.

A short interview with Lisa and a member who wished to remain anonymous. 

Lisa: What have you been involved in so far?

Anon: Making a template for a mosaic.

Lisa:  What are you getting from it?

Anon:  Teamwork!

Alice Blakemore interviews David Hay

Alice:  What is the process youíve been involved in?

David:  Iíve drawn a diagram and created a church window.

Alice:  Other than being creative, what else have you derived from the process?

David:  My time is constructive rather than watching TV.

Alice:  What have you learnt since you have been at Care and Share?

David:  I know how to do mosaic, and be more creative with products I have.

Lisa interviews another anonymous member

Lisa:  What is your role in the arts and crafts group?

Anon:  To create and develop a logo for Care and Share, and a mosaic.

Lisa:  Tell me about the process youíre in and what is your personal take on it?

Anon: Iíve been using found and donated objects and materials.  By using old discarded and unwanted objects Iím reflecting the lives of my fellow Care and Share members.  Through bringing inanimate objects to life, the effect on the creator is profound.  It is like clearing out their systems and re-arranging their thoughts and attitudes. This is very cathartic and positive.

Lisa:  What else are you getting from it at a personal level?

Anon:  Iíve been unwell all day and doing the crafts has brought me down to normal.  There are therapeutic benefits as well as giving me pride in what Iím doing Ė and self- confidence.  I never knew I was capable of doing something like this.  I have gained much self esteem and it is pleasurable and relaxing.  Itís given me a sense of achievement, and itís bringing joy and inspiration to others. 
Miscellaneous interviews

Interview with Councillor Elaine Little with Alice Blakemore

Alice:  What do you do for Care and Share?

Elaine: Iím the local councillor, and Care and Share helps me to understand my constituents whom I have to face on a daily basis.

Alice: How can you help Care and Share members?

Elaine:  I can be contacted at anytime on any issue by everyone I represent

Alice: What do you personally benefit from doing this, and how long have you been a councillor?

Elaine: I have been attending for three years, not as often and I would like, but it shows me that working with Riverside and the council really works, and helps to make a difference to everyone involved.

Interview with Haidee Chapman of STEP (Skills Towards Employment Project)with Alice Blakemore

Step is a close partner of the Care and Share project in an ongoing and fruitful creative relationship.

Alice: What are the aims of STEP?:

Haidee:  The aim is to target a harder-to-reach client group to enable, encourage  and motivate into training, further education and employment.

Alice: What kind of support do you offer, and how can it be accessed?

Haidee:  STEP offers one-to-one support advice, assistance in all aspects of training and employment.  STEP can be accessed through housing, careers, social work, criminal justice and other partner agencies.

Alice: What do you personally get out of doing this type of work?

Haidee: It gives me a lot of self-fulfilment making a difference in someone elseís life.



I come to Care and Share to get myself out of the house and to meet different folk.  I like befriending people.  My views have changed. I have become more tolerant of others and open minded.


Coming to Care and Share gets me out, and I see a lot of my friends here.  My internet skills have improved and itís boosted my confidence levels.  I have good memories of making the DVD and watching it.


I come to Care and Share for something to eat and to socialise and chat.  I enjoy the food and company.  There is nothing to do in Patna!


I love all my friends here and get lots of support.  It motivates me.  Good food!  As far as personal gain is concerned, I am more self confident coming to the creative writing, and itís helped me to form and maintain friendships.  Staff are available.  The first day I came I went to creative writing and my confidence was boosted.  It motivates me to get out the house.  If iI wasnít here Iíd probably just stay home with my cat.


I like the people and interacting with others.  The creative writing I really enjoy.  My writing skills have improved tremendously as well as people skills, and I feel part of a large group. The highlights of my memories are of making and watching the DVD, and having my poems published in ďMusesĒ.  If Care and Share wasnít here Iíd probably stay in bed with my cat and read a book.


I really appreciate what Care and Share do for people.  It is a good place Ė outgoing.  It has made me feel more positive and given me the motivation I need to get out.


Care and Share has helped me a lot and got me out of trouble and helped me move house .  My confidence has risen, though I still have bad days. If Care and Share wasnít here I wouldnít be out the door.  I live for Wednesdays!


ďIt is the HIghlight of my week: an opportunity to mingle with other people.  All the agencies are here where I can access the system and a enjoy a sense of inclusion in a non-judgemental atmosphere.


The food, friends and the outdoor pursuits keep me coming back to Care and Share, otherwise Iíd probably still be in temporary accommodation.  Iíve had help with furniture etc. It has greatly helped my wellbeing.  I started as a client and now Iím a volunteer.  My only complaint is that itís not open long enough, and I would like it to be open on a Friday.

Testimonials from the Kitchen Volunteers. 
(These testimonials were sourced from interviews conducted by members of the creative writing group).

I like helping others less fortunate than myself.  I see it as Godís work.  I enjoy working with and for others.  Thereís plenty of good laughs with the team and the members who come along.  It brings sunshine and hope to othersí lives. 


I help out at Care and Share because I feel led to help people in need.  Iíve got skills to offer and time to give.  I get a sense of achievement and it improves your skills.  It has given me confidence being around people from different backgrounds and with difficult life experiences.


Helping out at Care and Share fits in with my time schedule: I am available.  Iíd heard a lot about Care and Share, and I wanted to experience working with adults for a change.  I like the interaction with the other volunteers and members.  It gives me the feeling of being part of a team and having a sense of purpose. Watching the Care and Share DVD was a highlight for me, and the Christmas party too Ė seeing everyone together enjoying themselves.






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