I volunteered with LiveArgyll Archives because I believed that the experience would benefit me significantly while studying for my Masters and PhD degrees, and subsequently prepare me for getting a job in the archive field.

I volunteered at the LiveArgyll Archives on two occasions, first in the summer of 2007 and then over a six month period in 2013. The archivist selected activities that suited my interests and would be beneficial to me, and in the process of my voluntary work I learned more about cataloguing archival records and how to use archive catalogues. The archivist chose cataloguing work that would not only introduce me to the methods of cataloguing but also allow me to work with interesting records which were engrossing to read. I also learned a large amount about Argyll & Bute local history simply from working with the records and doing some accompanying research.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and would recommend volunteering to anyone with an interest in local history, genealogy, or simply a wish to become involved in a rewarding project. The records themselves are fascinating for their historical content, which encompasses local and national history as well as personal details and life stories, but also enjoyable to work with simply for the tactile experience of handling old documents and seeing how daily life was conducted.



We volunteer for MacMillan Cancer Support. We started volunteering because we hoped our personal experience of cancer might help someone else.

There are four volunteers in our team and one of us is in the library every Tuesday from 11:00-13:00 to share a cuppa with anyone who’d like to find out about cancer provision and support for the patient, their families and friends. That could be through MacMillan leaflets, their Helpline, and information and ‘signposting’ to transport, benefits or……simply a sit down and a ‘bit of a blether’.

We make sure the leaflet displays are well stocked so that when we’re not there every other day of the week, there’s information for anyone who needs it.

The people we volunteer with and we meet in our role have made it a really good decision.

Our training was good, we learned a lot and have regular updates which gives us the opportunity to meet up with the others in our team; lovely people.

The library staff are an excellent support for us and are always happy to help. The Library Manager also collates information to feed back to MacMillan and does our reordering.

We keep volunteering because we both think it gives us a chance to support people, to ‘pay back’, to ‘pay forward’ for the support we received.

We’ve time now we’re retired to try to make a small contribution to our community.

Rosalie and Ian Shaw

MacMillan Cancer Support.

I am a teacher in the school and started volunteering to run athletics club.  The children loved this so I decided to use my spare time to start more clubs to give more sporting opportunities. I love seeing the enjoyment on children’s faces and getting to know more children in the school community.

I love sport and when I became a teacher I missed my coaching role from my previous job. The enjoyment and opportunities my volunteering brings to the children is the main reason I keep doing it. Volunteering has helped me improve my time management and leadership skills through supporting young leaders.  I have shown leadership and been able to share my skill set. Volunteering to coach sporting activities has given me many advantages, I have met lots of new people and made friends through this and it helps to keep me involved in my passion.

The school I volunteer in are all very supportive of what I do and the teachers been great at helping identifying needs and children to participate.  Active Schools play a huge role in helping to organise tournaments, competitions and getting equipment.  The children I coach make my volunteer role very easy with the enthusiasm they show.

Jade Brown


Poring over old manuscripts, reading old letters or hunting through Archives has always fascinated me. But when travelling is a problem, this interest is not easily followed. 

So it has been a real joy to me over the last ten years or so to be able to transcribe many documents held in various archives – the County Archives at Lochgilphead; the local Archives in the Isle of Mull Museum ; and more recently the Argyll Papers at Inveraray.

Sometimes I have been able to choose my subject, asking for items relating to the area I am studying, or documents which will be used for researchers. Sometimes it is a lucky dip ; another ‘bundle’ of scanned images arrives and the first look through them is like opening a Christmas present. 

There is no pressure to complete an assignment within a set time, so the exercise is always a pleasure.  Every now and then I come across something I just can’t read or even make an educated guess at – but that is no bad thing, there is always room for improvement !



On a weekly basis I lead and assist with coaching sessions for U15 Girls and U18 Boys Rugby at Oban Lorne RFC & Oban High School. This involves many jobs such as planning sessions, organising equipment as well as other non-coaching tasks such as driving the minibus and organising food!

My volunteering journey started back in 2006 when along with another group of parents setup the Etive Vikings Mini Rugby club in the village of Taynuilt for local children to take up the sport. Previously there were no community club opportunities for young people in the village. As my own children progressed through the minis I eventually found myself helping with the Youth S1/2 Rugby before progressing to the Girls and U16/U18 Boys teams.

I enjoy coaching and working with own children and seeing them develop both in the sport but importantly as a person – rugby teaches lots of valuable life skills. It also gave me another focus away from my day job on the fishing boat  and allowed me to meet a new group of people, many of which have become good friends.

The enjoyment of coaching along with my passion and enthusiasm for the sport as well as spending time with my own children has kept me volunteering. Despite this it would be great if some new volunteers would come along and help spread the load!

I feel that coaching has helped make me a better person and the rewards of working with young people have been very valuable. CPD courses and learning of others have made me a more confident deliverer which has helped in other aspects of my life.

Volunteering has reintroduced me back to rugby as I didn’t play past my school years. It has kept me fit and allowed me to spend time in a rugby environment with my family.

My volunteering would not have been possible without the help from others particular the group of Etive Vikings coaches from back in the early days, The head of PE at Oban High School and the Argyll & Bute Rugby Development Officer. Without the help of these people and the many others I would not be the coach I am today.

Gordon Shearer

Coaching Sessions