Volunteer Jim Wastle is a regular volunteer with Waverley Care, helping out on the reception at our Mansfield Place office in Edinburgh and also doing odd jobs at our Milestone Residential Support Centre. He kindly answered a few of our questions.
When and why did you first become involved with Waverley Care?
I got involved in 2011. I’d retired and was enjoying the freedom but I’d always intended volunteering at some point. I checked out a few organisations I had reasons to be particularly interested in – Waverley Care, because of knowing people with, or affected by, HIV. I approached Waverley Care because they seemed absolutely clear about what they stood for and what they were aiming to achieve.
What motivates you to volunteer for Waverley Care?
I find it very rewarding to be playing a small part in the work of such a great organisation. I like the fact that the focus is always exactly where it should be – on the people who use the services. I enjoy meeting such a wide range of interesting people, with different ages, backgrounds and life experiences; and I’ve found everyone – service users, staff and other volunteers – so friendly.
Why might you encourage other people to support Waverley Care?
Firstly, because it provides services and support not available elsewhere, and it does so efficiently and in a caring and non-judgmental way, encouraging the active participation of service users themselves. And secondly, because it’s fun! Volunteers are welcomed, supported and valued. There are so many interesting opportunities available that you find you have to limit yourself.
What are you currently reading?
I’m re-reading a couple of books I first enjoyed many years ago – ‘A Landing on the Sun’ by Michael Frayn is beautifully written – witty, funny and moving; and the complete ‘Mapp and Lucia’ stories by E F Benson, which I’ve read many times and never tire of … I suspect that everyone has some Mapps and Lucias in their circle of acquaintances!
What is your favourite film?
‘Casablanca’, ‘The Maltese Falcon’, ‘Double Indemnity’, ‘Swing Time’… you get the picture. I went to a cinema screening of Casablanca recently, afraid that it could be so familiar that it would be risible… but I needn’t have worried – it still packed the same emotional punch.
Who inspires you?
I wish I could just name a politician who had a clear vision for society and the determination and charisma to carry it through, in spite of the PR people and the opinion-polls. Until one comes along, though – and I’m not giving up hope – I find real inspiration nearer to home: people like a long-time friend and ex-colleague who has always stuck by her principles and has always shown unfailing loyalty to, and care for, her friends; (I won’t name her and, if she were ever to read this, I doubt that she’d think it referred to her!).