HE is in the running for title of Glasgow’s most unusual volunteer.

Leigh Weir gives hours of his time each week as a volunteer archer - and some of his lessons are in a swimming pool.

The 28-year-old said volunteering has been “life-changing” for him, helping his mental health and his confidence.

Evening Times:

Leigh Weir pictured in the main pool at Govanhill baths, Glasgow. Picture: Colin Mearns

Leigh, from Cathcart, said: “Volunteering has changed my life in nearly every aspect: from feeling more confident and opening me up to have the ability to talk to people.

“I used to be very shy but everybody can see the difference in me now.”

Leigh came to volunteering through a recommendation made at the men’s group he attends in Hidden Gardens at Tramway.

He did a taster session at MRM Archery, on Glasgow’s south side, and that, he said, got him “back into something I had loved all my life.”

Following the taster session he met Sport Development Officer Mark Hudson from Glasgow Sport who told him about the volunteering opportunities available.

Now Leigh spends about 24 hours a week on archery, including volunteering his time with Southside Archers to help others learn the sport.

Leigh has now completed his Level One archery course and is involved in plans to set up a new archery group for the city.

Evening Times:

Leigh Weir pictured in the main pool at Govanhill baths, Glasgow. Picture: Colin Mearns

He also takes part in giving lessons to new archers in Govanhill Baths.

He said: “It was the start of my journey into a sport that has taken over my whole life.

“It is such a beneficial sport, I believe. It gives you mental focus and is so peaceful.

“I’m not your typical guy and I’m not into football, although by brothers are, so I’ve found a sport that is all about knowing the basics and is so de-stressing.

“You learn to control your body and your mental state so it’s not just a sport but a lifestyle.”

This week is National Volunteers Week and Glasgow Sport says each sports volunteer in the city on average is helping around five other people take part in sport.

Roles range from coaches to parent helpers and tasks that happen behind the scenes to make sure the city stays active.

Glasgow Sport has a Volunteer Bureau (GSVB) set up as part of the 2014 Legacy with around 2500 volunteers who can sign up to different volunteering opportunities from coaching in clubs to big events like the Davis Cup.

Last year volunteers were recruited from the GSVB for the Homeless World Cup, Davis Cup, Skyride and Tour of Britain

Volunteers are also heavily relied on in community sport clubs where tasks can outnumber the volunteers.

For people who can’t get out and about so easily, there are even ‘armchair volunteering’ opportunities that can be carried out from home by anyone with a computer and internet access.

Leigh added: “I have even got other people volunteering now and they are really benefitting from it.

“It doesn’t have to be much time, a couple of hours a week or a couple of days.

“It can make a huge difference to you or to somebody else.”

See www.volunteersport.glasgowlife.org.uk or email clubandvolunteer@glasgowlife.org.uk