Day 31 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Sunday, 31st January 2021

It made sense to me to bookend the month with Shout shifts. I’ve taken to volunteering with Shout on the weekends because it works really well with childcare. I can either fit in a shift when my partner is looking after our son or I can hop onto the platform when our son is in bed and Simon can have a break and watch Keanu Reeves movies. John Wick is a real fave of his, and as much as I love Keanu Reeves I just can’t watch John Wick. Simon feels the same way about Pitch Perfect, Clueless and Legally Blonde.

What: Crisis Volunteering
Organisation: Shout 85258

It was yet another busy shift, and I’ve now had over 80 conversations in total, which I find staggering really as it also feels like I’ve come such a long way. When I’m on there, in between texts (it sometimes takes a few minutes for people to respond to you) I always have a look at the resources on there. They have resources for everything which give you advice on everything from how to cope when you’re feeling anxious, to coming out. One thing I have noticed though is that there are no services to help people with social media addiction. They have help for people with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions, but not social media and I’m thinking that one day (in the not too distant future) they might be needing a specialist support programme. With everything so dependent on technology, it would need a solution that is entirely analogue because surely you want to sway people away from tech. The internet is amazing, but what some people have done with it is terrifying. Social media can help us achieve some amazing things (see Captain Tom and the Ice Bucket Challenge) but it can also bring out the absolute worst in people (online trolls and racism, with people remotely attacking others for no reason – see Marcus Rashford only the other day being attacked). It allows people to be incredibly personal, in an impersonal way, and it’s not something I’m comfortable with at all. I don’t spend an awful lot of time on social media. I used to, but I feel better for not spending time on it. It’s a strange and very ironic thing, trying to make it as a blogger and influencer, without being particularly active on social media….

I listened to some really great records on this shift, starting with The Very Best of Leo Sayer. Weirdness aside, I actually really love Leo Sayer’s music. My favourites would be around his ‘The Show Must Go On’ era, although his disco stuff is really fun. It’s said that he now performs in Retired Servicemen’s League clubs in Australia. My mum told me this, so there’s every possibility that this could be a load of rubbish. I then went on to Tears For Fears, Songs From the Big Chair. Oh my god, such an amazing album. Quintessentially 80s, and so powerful in its sound and how it makes you feel. I’ve been looking for it in our collection for a while but couldn’t find it. Turns out, Simon had been listening to it recently and put it back in a different place. I ended on All the Best by Paul McCartney – my ultimate safe space album. I grew up with this album on tape and me, we’d always listen to it when my brother and sister used to go to the car wash with our dad every other Sunday. Going to the car wash was our treat. Paul McCartney has always been my favourite Beatle because I always feel like he was the positive side of the Lennon/McCartney pairing and Lennon was always more pessimistic. His signature is so upbeat and makes me really happy. I love the Beatles, but The Wings are also a real favourite of mine.