My experience of volunteering with TCA: Ron Kerr

Adult counsellor Ron Kerr tells us about how he ended up volunteering with us and what the overall experience was like for him.

Having just retired as a volunteer adult counsellor with TCA, I was asked to write a few reflections on the ten years I have been fortunate enough to work with the organisation.

I had volunteered with alcohol related projects while at university and my first full time job on graduating was as a residential worker in a ‘dry house’ with a recovery project in London. I then moved into housing management spending 25 years working at that. During that time I kept in touch with the alcohol problems field through voluntary work.

I retired in 2005, moved back to Scotland and looked for voluntary work. I thought I might have something to offer a project like TCA and luckily, Gillian Ferguson who managed Adult Services at that time agreed and I joined in 2006.

Photo of Ron at a football stadium in Madrid

It has been a rewarding experience on several levels. Firstly, I feel I have helped a number of clients make a positive difference in their lives. I, in turn, have learned a great deal from them and gained much from being involved in successes.

It has been a particularly personal plus for me to work with people who have managed to control their drinking at a non harmful level over a period of time. I had previously always worked with “abstinence” models and, although I had benefited from this myself with 42 years sober, I was never entirely convinced it was for every problem drinker. It was great to have a role in such achievements.

Secondly, the colleagues I have worked with have been amazing. The support, encouragement and friendship has been invaluable in enabling provision of the counselling. The admin, supervision and the training have all been vital in delivering the service.

I, personally, realised what a great bunch of colleagues I had when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. The support and best wishes I received from fellow workers helped greatly in dealing with that difficult situation.

Finally, I’ve really enjoyed the social side of TCA. The Christmas ‘bashes’ have always been great fun, even when we went to ‘grotty’ pubs. However, my farewell ‘do’ surpassed all previous events, being like afternoon tea at the Ritz with a beautiful gift added!

Thanks for everything TCA! It has been a great ten years and I hope I can keep in touch and maybe get invited to the next Christmas lunch!

Would you like to volunteer for us? Get in touch on 01382 456012 or email enquiries@alcoholtayside.com