Interview with Deborah MacVicar (Tagsa Adult Support)

Deborah MacVicar is a busy woman with her job at Tagsa Uibhist. Before being promoted as an Adult Support Worker, she spent many years as a Carer in the community. She does the work she loves, organising group events and clubs for the benefit of those in need in the community.

She also travels around the islands doing respite visits. Calling in, and sitting with people, chatting to them and sometimes doing some arts and crafts with them. In her spare time, she is a Jeweller and artist.

‘I make a rota of all the people that I have on my list of service users and go to various areas of the islands every week.

Some people I will visit every week. I’ll go and see some people for two hours a week and we’ll go for maybe a walk. Other people, I will go and see maybe for one hour, once a week. There’s some people that I won’t see as often. I’ll maybe see them every two weeks or every three weeks. It’s person centred, so I’ll gauge what I feel they need and discuss it with them. 

When I go and visit someone for an hour and talk to them in their house, I can see how happy they are to see me. It’s really nice to know that they have been looking forward to my visit and that they feel as if they’re getting some benefit from it. It’s lovely. That’s very rewarding. 

Deborah runs many activities in between weekly community visits with Tagsa. There’s a weekly club for any keen gardeners or artists and there’s often a cèilidh in the Tagsa schedule. All these events also tie in with the Tagsa transport service ensuring that all those who use the services can take part and get to their chosen activity.

‘We have people who may be socially isolated or who have specific needs. People enjoy coming and meeting in a group.

We do some growing, which is very good for mental health because it gives people hope for the future. They can see things growing and everybody gets a share in all the vegetables that we grow. So that’s great fun.

For the art club I take in some art materials of different kinds each week into the shed and we work with paper and paints. We draw or use clay and just enjoy ourselves for an hour and then have a cup of tea.

At our monthly cèilidhs, I usually work with a musician who also works for Tagsa. They do some songs from the sixties or seventies type era. We print out some of the songs so that everybody can join in with the singing. And we have other musicians as well who join us. 

We always have a cup of tea, social chats and cake.‘

These events are there to help people with anxiety, depression or any mental health issue. Loneliness or social isolation can be very damaging and Deborah hopes that she can make a difference with Tagsa in giving people a place to go and talk while doing something they enjoy. Like all community groups, funding can be tight and the organisation is always looking for volunteers to come and join the group. If you’re looking to give back, then this is your chance. 

‘I’m looking for volunteers for my garden club on Mondays. I’m also looking for volunteers for the Cèilidhs to offer support.

 Individuals can come and enjoy the music and sit with our participants and just encourage them to either sing along or join in the dancing. We’re also looking for Gaelic singers and musicians to come and join us too.‘

When we asked Deborah if she enjoyed her work, she instantly replied:

‘I love it. Absolutely love it. It’s fantastic. The reason I’m doing it is because I myself have got disabilities and some depression. Doing this job helping other people makes me feel better instead of taking medications. That’s my reason for doing the job.

I think it’s great to have some empathy.’

To get involved in and of Tagsa’s activities, or if you’re struggling personally don’t hesitate to contact Deborah on 01870608905 or by email deborah@tagsa.com

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