Alaina started volunteering as an Administrator with Shelter Scotland in August 2023 and she is currently volunteering remotely from her home in New Zealand. She has worked for a small independent travel company based in Glasgow for the past 10 years and during that time has held a variety of roles including finance and administration.

“It gives me something outside of my 9-5 paid employment that I can do and that I can feel good about.”

In her spare time, Alaina loves going to the cinema and travelling as well as going to the gym, which benefits both her physical and mental health.

When Alaina first arrived in Glasgow, looking for somewhere to live, she experienced first-hand the challenging rental market. “The landlord demanded we pay our deposit in cash,” she recalls. When she said she didn’t feel comfortable carrying so much cash around but could transfer the money instead, the landlord revoked their agreement on the spot.

‘It left us with two weeks to find alternative accommodation. It was incredibly stressful and made me realise that there is such a power imbalance.”

Alaina has followed the work of Shelter Scotland as a charity for many years and has a strong belief that a secure home is a human right.

“I think particularly since Covid, combined with the cost-of-living crisis, it has exacerbated the homelessness problem in Scotland, and I just want to give back in some capacity.”

Alaina volunteers as an Administrator alongside the Volunteer Coordinator and has been assisting with volunteer recruitment, helping to encourage more people to volunteer.

“I wanted to use my administrative skills developed over years to make a positive difference.”

When she attended her Shelter Scotland induction, Alaina was quite alarmed when she heard the statistics about homelessness and housing and how it can affect anyone.

“Homelessness doesn’t discriminate, and we shouldn’t discriminate either. We should never judge people and we should focus on the human impact of homelessness.”

Alaina has already received positive feedback about her volunteering role and finds that really encouraging. When she is back in Scotland, she feels she will be able to get even more involved in person. She has been impressed by what she has experienced so far and would absolutely recommend others to volunteer with Shelter Scotland.

“Shelter Scotland is a team of dedicated and emphatic employees and volunteers, and it is committed to creating a safe and positive workplace for everybody.”