We’ve been interviewing all our volunteer Housing Buddies at the beginning of their involvement with the programme, finding out more about their background and hopes for the volunteering. In our fourth interview, we meet Kath Menzies.
- Tell us a bit about yourself – what’s your experience in the housing sector?
I’ve worked in housing sector for the past eight years. I began my career in Falkirk and have since enjoyed Housing Officer roles in the Scottish Borders, London, Stirling and Glasgow. I have recently returned to Falkirk after a post in London; and I am enjoying being closer to my family. I am a Board Member of my local Housing Association; and am currently undertaking my professional qualification.
- Why did you want to get involved with Housing Buddies?
I had wanted to do some volunteering for a while, but had not found the right opportunity. In my day-to-day work as a Housing Officer, I appreciate the enormity of the task it is for many who need a new home; or an adaptation to their current home. Sometimes, the task can be even more daunting if there are increased barriers including unfamiliar language or the increasing prevalence of digitization. At work, I aim to have all my tenants and applicants understand completely what their options are; so that they can be empowered to make the choice that is right for them. If I can carry that on outside work; why wouldn’t I!
- What are you looking forward to most about being a Housing Buddy?
I’m a people person – and I’m most looking forward to meeting clients, sharing in their journey as they progress into more suitable arrangements.
- Why do you think Housing Buddies is an important programme?
Housing Options Scotland caters towards disabled people, older adults and veterans. These groups are often marginalized; but in HOS they are at the forefront. In a time of increasing austerity, organisations like HOS are vitally important; and if I can help a little bit so that other staff within the organisation can continue to support as many households as possible, then the Housing Buddies programme really does have an important role to play.
- Why is volunteering important to you?
I understand that helping people, even with the smallest of tasks can make a real difference – and I want to make a difference..