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Age no barrier to volunteering

A volunteering scheme that lets retired and semi-retired people give something back to the community is looking for new recruits. The Charity Experience, based at The Experience in Hillington Park, gives local groups and charities the opportunity to use the state of the art go karting and conference facilities at a discounted rate and is run in partnership with local volunteers.

Last year over 23 million adults in the UK volunteered their time for charities. Recent studies have shown that volunteering can increase mental and physical wellbeing as well as reducing social isolation.

The rewarding roles include karting assistance, music & drama, photography, arts, crafts, and much more. The latest recruits might be more use to a bus pass than a go-kart, but they accepted a challenge to race each other in a contest of the ‘geri-kartrics’. After the grand prix, they took some time to help explain why they wanted to get more involved with The Charity Experience.

Alex Young (65) from Beith, and Hugh Gilmour (64) from Houston, joined retired Chief Executive of Kibble Graham Bell (63) for the race at The Experience, proving that age is no barrier when it comes to taking part in the action. Alex is a retired engineer and started volunteering through the The Spiers Trust, a local charity that helps families in financial difficulty. He said:

“Now that I have a bit more time on my hands, I feel that it is good to give something back to the community. The Charity Experience is a fantastic example of local groups being able to access exciting activities that they might not otherwise enjoy.

“My advice to anyone who wants to get involved? Do it! It is a thoroughly rewarding experience.”

Hugh is the retired Managing Director of famous Renfrewshire leather company W.J. & W. Lang. This was the first time that he had raced in a go-kart, but he enjoyed the full work-out followed by a tasty bacon roll from the Experience café. He said:

“It is amazing how physical driving a go-kart can be. No wonder the F1 guys are in top condition.”

Speaking about becoming a volunteer at The Charity Experience, he added:

“The range of opportunities are incredible. Whether people have mechanical, catering or other skills, there are roles for all types of schedule and abilities.”

The race finished with Alex Young taking top spot with Graham Bell and Hugh Gilmour in second and third respectively. Retired Chief Executive of Kibble Graham Bell said:

“We know people volunteer for a whole number of reasons, whether it is to enhance their CV, to meet new people, or to give something back to the community. With our Charity Experience, volunteering with us can do all of this and more.

“The Experience is such an exciting venue that we want to make it accessible for as many charity and community groups as possible. With the help of volunteering, we are dedicated to removing barriers and providing opportunities for all.”

To find out more about volunteering as part of the Charity Experience, email enquiries@theexperience.org.uk or call 0141 883 4005.

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