Meet The Team – Gill – Manager – Link Up Whitfield.
I work for Volunteer Dundee and manage the Link Up Whitfield project. Link Up Whitfield is one of a series of Inspiring Scotland Link Up Projects throughout Scotland. Link Up Whitfield is a community project that uses the strengths of people and their community to create groups and clubs in which people can participate, contribute and have fun!
I have been with Volunteer Dundee for six years now and in that time I have had a variety of roles. I was employed initially as a Timebank Coordinator and my role was to establish a timebank in the North East of Dundee- TimeTree. I then went onto work with the Reshaping Care for Older People team, firstly as a Community Engagement Officer and then as a Timebank Development Officer. After maternity leave I then took on the role of Link Up Manager and I have now been in that role for 3 years.
My role involves everything from budget management, writing case studies, funding applications, social media, volunteer management and development, line management of the two development officers, as well as the fun stuff like working with the volunteers in the various groups and activities. We have lots of groups at the moment including walking group, monthly bingo, Whitfield Camera Club, Munch Brunch, baking group, Link Up Lunch Club, Healthy Me, UneekLinx Dance Group, Linking Generations Arts and Crafts, Cinema Club and a Community Garden. We are also continually looking at establishing new groups and ideas and so we regularly help at local events and have one off activities so that we can find out what the local community want to see and what skills they have to share! Going forward, we are looking to expand into Fintry- our first group Munch Brunch is already up and running on a Tuesday.
Before working for Volunteer Dundee, I was a bank manager for Bradford and Bingley in Edinburgh. I enjoyed this role and managed the branch from being 202 in the company to 12th (and 2nd in Scotland.). However after having my second child I decided that working full time and commuting was too much so as a family we made the scary decision for me to hand my notice in without another job to go to and start from scratch again in a different career! Luckily I only had a few months wait before I was offered the job at Volunteer Dundee.
However, this wasn’t the first time I have had a change of career! I originally trained as an actress at QMUC in Edinburgh, gaining my BA Acting in 2002. I loved my time at drama school, gaining lots of skills such as ballroom dancing, jazz, Alexander Technique, singing lessons and even fencing- I am actually a qualified fencing instructor and still have my pink foil! My claim to fame is performing in an Irvine Welsh original musical called Blackpool.
In my spare time (well the little spare time that is left when you have 3 children!) I enjoy reading. I read at least 2 books a week and love all types of books. Recommend a book to me and I will read it! I also enjoy going to the cinema and the theatre. We also have a cross collie so I enjoy taking him for walks.
If you want to get involved with Link Up Whitfield, either as a volunteer or to come along to one of our groups, please get in touch with me and find out more.