Case studies

hourglass scotland safer ageing stopping abuse case studies

Case Studies

My name is Debbie and I am 39 years old – nearly 40!


I first came in to contact with Hourglass at the end of 2015. At this time, I was unemployed, looking to get back into work, with no success. I just wanted to be doing something with my life and also spent a great deal of time applying for voluntary positions, but not being given a chance, until Fife Voluntary Action told me that a charity, Action on Elder Abuse, Who were in the process of setting up in Scotland were looking for a volunteer administrator.


I said that I would be willing to give anything ago and they put me in touch with Lesley. I applied for the position and then had an interview with Lesley who decided to take me on. I felt like finally I had been given a chance to achieve something in my life. And of course, one of the benefits of doing voluntary work was that I had a good reference for any paid work I applied for.


I was the first volunteer in Scotland. I was doing admin work, and was involved in helping to promote the organisation. Alongside this, I was also doing an employability training program where I gained my European computer driving license qualification. So things were really looking up for me.


Then, at the beginning of 2016, the opportunity came up for me to be a volunteer helpline worker. I started training for this role in March 2016, and started working on the helpline officially in November that year. At the same time, I was also offered employment at the Scottish braille press as a Braille proofreader.


Hourglass has made a massive difference to my life. I very much enjoy working on the helpline. This is such a rewarding role and I am passionate about what I do. Tackling the abuse of older people is so important. Even just being there to give someone emotional support, and just to be there to listen, can make such a difference to someone’s life.


I have an honours degree in social sciences, and one of my goals in life has always been to work with people.


I have really gained invaluable experience working on the helpline, and I’m now taking calls from Scotland, England, and even Northern Ireland.


Volunteering has also made a difference to my life in other ways too. Not only has it increased my confidence, but it is also a good way of meeting people. I became really good friends with Andy, one of my helpline colleagues, who for nearly three and a half years, has been my partner. Andy recently gained employment with Hourglass.


Hourglass is such an important part of my life. Before I started volunteering, I was feeling so down, and lacking in self-esteem, and felt like my life was going nowhere. I faced a lot of discrimination due to my disability. But when I came into contact with Hourglass, all that changed, and I was given a chance to show what I am really capable of. And as I say, I really love what I do, and as well as all this, I met my partner who I want to spend the rest of my life with and I am happier than I have ever been before.



Tom Aged 71 years


Can you tell us about how you came into contact with Hourglass?

I came into contact with Hourglass through the social work department of my local authority after my 91 year old mother had been involved in a police investigation by the Major Incident Team into the sudden death of a close friend aged 97. Mum was regarded as a vulnerable person who might be at risk and as a possible witness in the team’s investigation. A person of our mutual acquaintance has since been charged with murder and fraud and is awaiting trial.


What difference has Hourglass made for you?

Clearly, these circumstances were very stressful and confusing for someone of my mother’s advanced age. Indeed, the investigation and the concerns arising from it placed a burden on the whole family. Mum is now in a care home due to her failing physical health. The support from Colin and Carralanne of Hourglass has been excellent. Carralanne has telephoned my mother regularly (-telephone contact being the main means of communication due to Covid-19 restrictions at the moment-) and has visited her outdoors at her care home. These calls and visits have been important to my mum and she values the contact with Carralanne. Not only do I feel that the involvement with Hourglass has been beneficial in providing emotional support to my mother but my own conversations with Colin on the phone have helped me in what has been a difficult time for our family.





My name is Liz  and I’m 65 plus.



Can you tell us about how you came into contact with Hourglass?

I was introduced to Hourglass by a relative employed by the charity. I learned a lot about what the charity offers and was keen to help out.  



What difference has Hourglass made for you?

I find volunteering for Hourglass to be very rewarding. I feel I can lend a listening ear and offer support and advice to a vulnerable person. It’s very satisfying to know  I am helping to  raise awareness and help tackle elder abuse in our society today whilst helping older people to  live in a safer environment.