This week has been Volunteers Week, and Solent Mind would like to say thanks for all the work our volunteers do! In this blog, Karl and Eva talk about why they volunteer for us.
Hello, my name is Karl, I am a 30 something (rapidly approaching 40!), average guy. I have always been what the majority of people would consider as 'normal’, as such I had never really thought about mental health issues or wellbeing. This was until last November when by complete chance, I was offered the opportunity to temporarily work part-time for Solent Mind.
At first I was unsure, I had previously never really heard of Solent Mind and I was honestly apprehensive about working for a Mental Health charity. My apprehension was mainly due to the way that the media portray people suffering with mental health issues and the stigma associated with mental health.
I am happy to say that I quickly got over my initial misgivings! Since working for Solent Mind I have been so impressed (and continue to be) by the excellent work that Solent Mind do to help and support the people who really need us. The passion and enthusiasm of the staff is so infectious that I felt compelled to help in any way that I could. Fortunately, the opportunity to volunteer my spare time as a fundraising assistant came up and I grabbed it with both hands!
I really enjoy volunteering as a fundraising assistant as the role is extremely varied and everyday is different! I feel privileged to be able to meet and speak to a lot different people and give my time, knowledge and skills to help a really great charity.
To me fundraising is as much about raising awareness as it is raising much needed funds. Raising awareness helps to break down barriers and reduces the stigma attached to mental health issues. If I can help people become more aware of mental health issues and the importance of wellbeing, and also of the services that we offer then I will be very happy. After all, without breaking down the barriers and stigma in my own mind I would not be working and volunteering for Solent Mind!
I'm Eva. I moved to the UK a few years ago to study here. Since then, I got engaged and have moved here permanently. It's not easy for me to make friends, as I have some anxiety issues. Volunteering for Solent Mind means that I can get out there and explore, taking baby steps and not pushing myself too far.
It's great to feel that I'm doing something good at the same time as doing something I really enjoy. I love everything internet related and I also love photography. I started volunteering as a social media volunteer a few months ago. Before that, I was pretty much stuck in a rut staying at home, barely doing more than applying for jobs I really didn't want.
Volunteering for Solent Mind has not only helped me lift my self esteem. It got me out and about and showed me that I have different options when it comes to jobs, leisure and life in general. It's a lot of fun and the people at Solent Mind are really friendly and supportive.
It's a real pleasure to help out and grow as a person at the same time.
If Karl and Eva have inspired you to volunteer for Solent Mind, why not have a look at our current volunteering opportunities.