John McCallum is a young man who has proved himself to be an inspiration, not just to his friends and family but to everyone here at Strathcarron. John came to Strathcarron through our Befriending service, where he was matched with befriending volunteer Helen Bruce. The plan had been to match John with a befriender of a similar age (John is in his early twenties), but the young at heart Helen proved the ideal candidate and the two are now the firmest of friends, sharing walks, coffees, countless laughs and even the odd horror movie! They have each introduced the other to new experiences, and Helen feels the befriending experience enriches her life as much as it does John's. John enjoys all the same things other young men his age do - music, computer games, movies, football - but the conditions he is living with mean his choices are a little more limited when it comes to working and socialising. However, his cerebral palsy has not stopped John from wanting to contribute to society and do something worthwhile to benefit others. Through Helen, John was introduced to volunteering at the Hospice, and is now a regular visitor every single week, helping Jim with our Ebay sales. John has been learning how to research unusual items, manage spreadsheets and paperwork, and has even brought his own knowledge and experience to the table. John loves his time at the Hospice, enjoying a fair bit of cheeky banter and nonsense alongside the work he does, and Jim describes John's contribution as 'invaluable'. He feels privileged to work with John, whose solid work ethic and sense of humour bring something very special to the team. Our volunteers are a varied bunch, of all ages and coming from all walks of life, but they each have something very valuable to contribute to their roles, helping to make Strathcarron the special place it is and enriching their own lives in the process. John is a shining example of how, no matter what our personal circumstances and challenges, we all have something special to offer, and the rewards and benefits of devoting time to making a difference to others are immeasurable. If you would like to follow John's example and find out more about the many volunteering roles available at Strathcarron, go to or give us a call on 01324 826222. We’d love to hear from you!