Volunteers' Week 2016: Ceejay Mackay
I started volunteering with Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland in October 2015.
I found the volunteering opportunity through the University of Dundee volunteer gateway. I was keen to gain experience working within the third sector, with a reputable, client focused charity. I am studying my MSc Psychology of Mental Health at the University of Dundee, so I was able to relate some of my knowledge of mental health working within sexual health in a clinic in Perth.
I volunteer on a rotational fortnightly basis in Perth and offer friendly advice and support for service users within the Tayside area. I ask people to fill out quality improvement information and liaise with Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland as to how to improve the quality of service delivered within Men Only Tayside (MOT).
My volunteering position led to me securing a paid post with Terrence Higgins Trust as a community and clinics engagement officer. My role includes running a peer support group for men who have sex with men living with and affected by HIV in the Dundee area. In addition to monthly meetings, I liaise with clinicians and community workers in and around Dundee to improve access to services for men living with HIV and increase the uptake of group members.
I find the role extremely rewarding and enjoy the challenge of helping to eradicate stigma and support individuals who may not receive extensive support elsewhere. Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland is a great charity to work for and the support I receive in my roles is invaluable.
If you’re looking to challenge yourself, improve your knowledge around sexual health and have fun, give your all to volunteering. You certainly won’t regret doing so!