Isobel Gilmore


I first became involved many years ago as a Guidance Teacher at St Augustine’s High School in Edinburgh. I asked Waverley Care to come and give talks and lead discussions with our seniors and after that helped the students collect for World AIDS Day every year.
When I retired in 2012 I started helping in the office – an ace envelope stuffer!  My husband, Mike, then got involved and we are now seasoned bucketshakers at the Pleasance at Festival time and at other venues.
I had experience of HIV and Hepatitis C through my professional life and saw how important education was, especially for young people. Raising awareness and breaking through the stigma attached to HIV and Hep C are still essential jobs as well as raising money to provide support for such a valuable charity.

What motivates you to volunteer for Waverley Care?

Pride in what Waverley Care achieves. Pride in what it stands for. A sense of personal worth in doing something useful. On pouring wet days at the Pleasance, the sheer joy of talking to nice people and raising money against all the odds!

What would you say to someone who was thinking of volunteering for Waverley Care?

I would say don’t hesitate – come and do it! Waverley Care is a small organisation where everyone has a name. There are lots of different ways to help, whether fundraising, befriending, answering the phones. The extended family of Waverley Care is a welcoming group which reminds you that you are doing something so worthwhile.

How else do you spend your spare time when not volunteering for Waverley Care?

A little bird has been telling tales about my shady secret life! I help out at my old school mentoring and befriending young people, I sing with Sing in the City III, a great Edinburgh choir, but my  passion is still going to gigs wherever possible. Going to see the Foo Fighters in Wembley was definitely a highlight!

What is your favourite book?

Probably Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’, the first in the series of her life story.

What music do you like to listen to?

Everything and anything except jazz. I was brought up in a musical family in Highland Perthshire so grew up with beautiful pipe tunes and fiddle music. From that to the Foo Fighters has been quite a journey!

What is your favourite film?

Without a doubt ‘Torch Song Trilogy’ with Harvey Fierstein and the late Anne Bancroft. It is a beautiful film – so funny and so moving.

What is your favourite food and drink?

To hell with the food – gin and tonic, red wine, cocktails!

Who inspires you?

So many people throughout my life have inspired and motivated me to be the best person I can be but staying with music, I’d have to say Dave Grohl of the Foos. He is my hero! So talented, funny, lives life to the full. At my age I need that kind of energy to keep going!

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