New CrossReach chief calls for more volunteers

A new era for Scotland’s largest care provider has begun with its new CEO calling for more volunteers to join its ranks.

Viv Dickenson
Viv Dickenson, chief executive officer for CrossReach, the Kirk’s social care arm, was speaking at her first Service of Celebration awards, where staff and volunteers are recognised for their remarkable work in this vital part of the Church.

New era begins

Viv Dickenson, chief executive officer for CrossReach, the Kirk’s social care arm, was speaking at her first Service of Celebration awards, where staff and volunteers are recognised for their remarkable work in this vital part of the Church.

She succeeds Peter Bailey who retired from the role after the General Assembly last week.

“Volunteering is a remarkable thing,” she said. “It is helping improve the health and well-being of people all over Scotland.

“It’s wonderful to be able to show our recognition at an event like this.

“I would urge people who have a curiosity in being a volunteer to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.”

Award winners
The Service of Celebration honours the incredible work of staff and volunteers at Scotland's largest social care provider.

Staff and volunteer relationship

The awards show special guest was Adrian Murtagh, a renowned volunteering specialist for Volunteer Scotland.

He told the audience at the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh: “The relationship between staff and volunteers is an important one in CrossReach. In many cases, volunteers provide a vital role in aiding hard working staff in their work.

“Volunteering has many benefits and I would urge people to come forward and have the experience for themselves.”

Winner of the Volunteer of the Year award was Ann Adams for her work with the Whiteinch Move On Project in Glasgow. This service provides temporary accommodation for adults in recovery from substance misuse while helping them become active members of society.

Ann has worked as an advocate for people using the project. Her innovation in improving communication between residents and staff has seen tangible improvements in the service.

Making a difference

“I’m overwhelmed that I am appreciated so much,” she said. “I feel as If there are people probably a lot more deserving than me. I have a lot to be grateful for from CrossReach.”

Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, gave a speech to the audience in which he acclaimed the “invaluable” work of staff and volunteers of CrossReach.

He said: “It is great to be here today. We have so many people from all over the country doing invaluable work.

“Equally important are the people who volunteer. These are the ones who we don’t often see and hear about - people from local congregations who very often support the work of CrossReach in ways that make an absolute difference to so many vulnerable people in our different communities.

“I warmly commend the work of CrossReach and hope that more people round about Scotland might have the opportunity to find out what CrossReach does and also volunteer in the future.”

CrossReach provides around 70 services at locations across the country.It has an annual expenditure of £45 million and employs around 2,000 people and has 572 volunteers.

Become a volunteer with CrossReach.