Day 65 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Saturday, 6th March 2021

Me and my son made carrot cake today. Sort of (it was mostly me and he made a mess). It’s the first time I’ve made carrot cake, which is weird because it feels like the sort of thing I should have made before. It was surprisingly delicious, and set me up really well for a Shout shift late in the day.

What: Crisis Volunteering
Organisation: Shout 85258

I was running slightly late for my shift this evening, so I was in a bit of a rush to get my music sorted. The first record I saw and picked up that I knew I would like was Greatest Hits of Abba. It sits right at the top left of the shelving unit, unsurprisingly, and I just picked it because I knew it would be an easy listen. Serendipitously, the first track on this version of their Greatest Hits (there are several, we also have Abba Gold on CD) is SOS. What a great tune, and quite fitting for volunteering on a crisis line. Then, when I was busy mid-conversation, Abba ran out, but luckily my partner came in with tea and picked a record for me – Neil Diamond, Beautiful Noise. An absolute classic safe place album and a real date night favourite of ours. Finally, I listened to Michael Kiwanuka’s eponymous album. It was really good, and I have to say, the quality of the vinyl is second to none. It's not one of those wibbly wobbly thin vinyls, it's properly thick and sounds amazing.

It’s so weird with Shout, because it’s easily the largest group of volunteers I belong to (I think there is somewhere in the region of 4,000 volunteers) but I’ve never met any of them. When I’m on the platform with them, I feel quite close to them because they’re so supportive, and there's always help when you need it. There's a decent chat function, so when you're having a tough conversation and you're not sure what to do, you can always post a question and someone will come back and help you more or less straight away. This must be (I imagine) how gamers feel when they interact with other gamers across the globe. Gamers are sometimes literally fighting alongside people they've never met in person, and they end up forging really close bonds. I sort of feel the same way about Shout.