At 72 years old, Robbie is one of the longest-serving volunteers with RealLiving.

Originally from Glasgow, Robbie now lives in Blairhall – a small former mining village in West Fife. Before his retirement, Robbie worked in the construction and engineering industry, where he described himself as a workaholic.

He has maintained his work ethic throughout his volunteering role, where in addition to the hours he commits to the service, he also acts as a mentor and role model for other volunteers, and a first-class befriender for the older people he supports.

Robbie’s befriending work with isolated older people – a significant source of demand on NHS services – makes an important contribution to not only the NHS, but to the lives of the people who receive the befriending services.

Robbie also provides vital one-to-one person-centred support to service users in their own home and in their communities. Through his one-to-one sessions, Robbie has significantly improved the lives of many, including RealLiving member Bob.

When Bob first joined he lacked confidence, had no social networks, and was withdrawn. Since being matched with Robbie, Bob has enjoyed trips to museums, the new Forth Crossing and visits to see his brother.

I like being around Robbie as he is outgoing, whereas I am a very quiet person. He has brought me out of my shell. He talks to everyone and it makes me talk to people too.

RealLiving service user Bob

Robbie is always keen to welcome new members to the RealLiving service; he plays an active role in the social cafes, helping new members feel at ease, and encouraging them to participate in various activities. He hates to see anyone miss out; he regularly uses his own car to provide transport to six isolated cafe members. Without his generosity they would be unable to attend.