Meet our Volunteers

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ELAINE SMURTHWAITE

I have three children with Tourette syndrome and all the co-existing conditions! I started helping out with Tourette Scotland when my middle child was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. I became more and more interested in supporting Tourette Scotland due to the help and support we received as a family, particularly when we were in crisis and couldn’t see a way forward. 

 

I served on the committee for 3 years and only stood down last year. I am still heavily involved in training and outreach. I assist with training in schools, work place, NHS and anywhere really that needs it.

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NIGEL ASHWORTH

I got my diagnosis in June 2020, though I’ve had Tourette’s since I was a child, just not known what it was. I wanted to better understand Tourette’s and feel part of a community. It’s amazing that charities like ours exist to fill the huge gaps in support that sadly exist. Helping people understand their condition and finding out how to get help, are vital for families.

I currently run a monthly storytelling group, which is open to all members over 14. I recently came across the term “gift economy”, where people give their services or products for free. I like this idea as, my time with Tourette’s Scotland feels like I am giving them a gift and I also receive many gifts back. 

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IONA MCDONALD

I started volunteering 3 years ago.  When I got the letter about being a volunteer, I was super excited to be able to help young people and adults with Tourette’s because I understood how hard it can be to deal with tics and everything else that comes with Tourette’s.

I am currently helping with outreach calls and training in schools and workplaces.  I like helping and speaking to young people like me with Tourette’s.
 

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JOEL SMURTHWAITE

I have been volunteering for Tourette Scotland for a couple of years now. I decided to volunteer so I could spread awareness of the condition, especially in schools, as I know how hard it can be. I aim to try and help make a difference for young kids in school all across Scotland.

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ROSS MACPHERSON

I started volunteering with Tourette Scotland in 2013 and continue to do so to this day. The reasons I decide to volunteer was because I was diagnosed and wanted to raise awareness of the condition and the charity, as they have supported me.

 

Initially, I started fundraising through selling origami which in turn lead to raising awareness, which I did for many years. I also taught local groups origami. More recently, I will be helping in online learning and craft sessions with children.

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KATIE LYONS

While completing a master’s degree in occupational therapy, I undertook my final work experience placement at Tourette Scotland, and wow what a welcome! It was hard not to be captivated by the warmth, hard work and motivation of all the members and staff supporting this service so much so I refused to leave and became a volunteer.

 

Tourette Scotland have supported me on my journey learning all things Tourette’s and at time’s felt like my family away from home. In Ireland I previously employed as an autism resource worker. I am passionate about raising awareness, and I love nothing more than meeting new people and having a good natter. I am currently involved with outreach support, profile sessions and awareness training.

 

I am really enjoying bringing some of my professional skills to the charity and meeting the amazing members who use our services including some furry friends who often pop in our online sessions to say hello :-)