Having started off as a not-for-profit social enterprise which I ran in my free time back in 1997, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety was registered as a charity in 2013 and moved to its Barony St John Centre premises in Ardrossan in 2015.

Since being in Ardrossan, the charity has grown from strength to strength. To give you an example, we had supplied our empowering personal safety training to 3,506 vulnerable people between 1997 and 2016 - about 350 people each year.

But in 2017 alone, once our centre was fully operational, we managed to train over 1,100 people. This was mainly due to the fantastic team of local volunteers we recruited in our new venue.

This team of volunteers took our charity to new levels and soon our courses were being recognised for their diversity, inclusion and empowering effects. We won The Scottish Charity Awards in 2018 followed by The Charity Awards (the UK’s biggest charity awards) in 2019. We also went on to win The Scottish Public Service Awards, The National Diversity Awards and The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, to name but a few.

Last year, we trained over 1,400 vulnerable people and so to keep our team of volunteer instructors at the top of their game, we hold bi-annual instructor training days designed to ensure that all of our volunteers are fully trained, insured, confident and professional.

A few weeks ago, we held our February instructor training day which was attended by all nine of our volunteers. We revised our first aid skills, our fire safety training and our personal safety training before moving on to refreshing our self defence training skills.

Most of our instructors are based in the Three Towns area but we also have an instructor in Bearsden, near Glasgow and another in Haggs near Falkirk, so getting everyone together and ensuring that the day runs smoothly, can require military precision.

Once everyone had arrived, we were delighted to see Ann Wilson of TACT popping in. Ann presented some of our team with Adult Volunteer Recognition Awards and as well as this, Claire McLaughlan was presented with our “Volunteer of the Year” award. This particular award comes hot on the heels of Claire winning the “Volunteer of the Year” award at The Third Sector Awards 2022 in London.

But we can always do with more volunteers to join our team. Not only will you get the chance to travel throughout Scotland presenting empowering personal safety training, but you will also see how YOUR skills can literally change people’s lives.

So, if you would like to join a multi-award-winning charity, why not drop us an email (alan@ScotCPS.org.uk) and let us know. You don’t have to be built like a tank, be a martial artist or even know much about self defence. Anyone who is physically fit and can talk in front of an audience can become a volunteer Instructor. We will teach you the rest.

So why not pop in for a coffee and a chat and hopefully, this time next year you will be impressing your employer with your volunteer work and getting the most job satisfaction you have ever felt. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about the work our charity does, visit www.ScotCPS.org.uk or search for ScotCPS on your social media pages.

Until next time, stay safe.