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"It has been great to see friendships being formed"

Today we hear from Courtney, who has been on Placement with Roar since February 2023 as part of her Social Work Degree with Glasgow Caledonian Universtiy. 

My time at Roar has been a great opportunity for learning all about the different variety of services the organisation provides and the way in which these services are vital to those who use them. Roar are a fantastic organisation which focus on tackling isolation through inclusiveness, creating equal opportunities and promoting anti-oppressive practice. Since being on placement at Roar I have realised that the work they do is of high importance in relation to ensuring older adults remain socially active and integrate into the community. There are many health and wellbeing clubs around the Renfrewshire area which  prove to be a great resource in relation to providing older adults with a safe space to go to, where they can form connections with other members of the club thus reducing the likelihood of loneliness/isolation setting in. Having attended several of these clubs, I spoke to many individuals who informed me that they really enjoy attending the health and wellbeing clubs as it gets them out of the house and meeting folk who may be in similar situations. It has been great to see friendships being formed through the activation of these health and wellbeing clubs.
Another vital resource that Roar provide is the befriending service. During my time spent with Roar I have worked in partnership with staff and overseen the way in which the befriending service works. Given the current issue of loneliness in Scotland, the befriending service tackles isolation/loneliness as it provides older adults with the opportunity to chat with a volunteer once per week in their home environment. Having volunteered myself for a short term befriending role I have witnessed first-hand  the power of connection when individuals are suffering due to loneliness/isolation/ depression. The difference that 1 hour of conversation per week can make to someone’s mental wellbeing is crucial.
With regards to the befriending service, Roar also receive referrals from social work. This has been particularly insightful as a student social worker - it has allowed me to further recognise the importance of third sector organisations and the role they play in relation to delivering the essential services required at a local level to support individuals’ wellbeing and meet their needs.
Overall, I have really enjoyed my time with Roar. The staff team have been a pleasure to work with and they have all been supportive. I wish Roar all the very best for the future and I have no doubt that they will continue to provide an invaluable service to those in need. Thanks to all for such a great placement. I will take forward all of my knowledge gained from my time spent with you all.