queens garden party july 2017 vols and staff

Seven volunteers from Volunteering Matters attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Holyrood Palace on the 4th of July 2017. Each year, the Queen holds three Garden Parties to celebrate people who have made a positive impact in their communities, welcoming over 30,000 people to events at either Buckingham Palace or Holyrood Palace.

Garden Party attendees are nominated through sponsors and are a great way for organisations and the Queen, to commend public service. With an estimated 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cakes being consumed, we are sure our guests had a great time!

Our volunteers and guests, from projects running across Scotland were nominated to attend as a gesture of thanks for their commitment to their roles supporting vulnerable people in the community.

Attendees included volunteer Amanda from our North Lanarkshire Befriending project, full-time volunteers, Helena, Harry, Natasha and Nicol, Stewart our Employee Volunteer and George who volunteers on our Handyperson/Help at Hand project.

It’s wonderful to see some of our volunteers being celebrated in this way and we’d like to say a huge thank you to the thousands of amazing people who are transforming lives through the power of volunteering.

natasha queens garden party july 2017


Natasha, full-time volunteer with Royal Blind: “I love volunteering because I get to do something different that’s really rewarding.  Volunteering full-time is a really great opportunity that you don’t get to do everyday! It gets you out of your comfort zone and you get to experience life in a totally new way. I hope to go on and study health and social care and get further experience.”

George, volunteer handyperson and befriender with Help at Hand: “I befriended an isolated and lonely older gentleman in Clackmannanshire who had no family and benefitted greatly from someone to chat to and spend time with.  Even though the match has officially ended now, we both still keep in touch and I would call him a good friend of mine.”

Helena, EVS volunteer with Share Scotland: “Volunteering is a great opportunity to collect work experience and learn about different people and their cultures. The biggest challenge was definitely the accent! But Scottish people are so open and friendly which has made understanding them a little easier! The best days are when we have wee laughs with our service users. It really makes my day to see how happy they are.”

harry queens garden party july 2017

Harry, full-time volunteer with North Lanarkshire Befriending project: “I’ve always had a desire to help people and to do something that really mattered.  I’m volunteering as a full-time volunteer with the project and I know that I am making a difference which is a very fulfilling feeling. The support I have received from the managers of the project has been phenomenal and I have never felt more commended for being the person that I am.”

Nicol, full-time volunteer with North Lanarkshire Befriending project: “One year of volunteering is not necessarily enough to change anyone’s life completely but it could definitely make a difference.  I would never have thought that I could have had so many lovely experiences working with children but now that I look back, I am sure that they have taught me more than anyone else.”

Stewart, employee volunteer from the Co-Op: “I’ve been in the field of Learning and Development for the past 10 years and it’s something that I’m really passionate about.  When I heard about Employee Volunteering from Volunteering Matters through our Social Goals team, it felt like the perfect opportunity for me. I supported a relatively small charity called Cathleen’s Cabin, which provides respite for children and families.”

Amanda, volunteer with North Lanarkshire Befriending project: “I am really passionate about making a difference in my local community, in particular to the lives of young people. During my match, I tried to push my young person to try new activities and help him feel more confident. I knew he had an interest in martial arts, so I was very determined to support him to develop this, which he did!”