As part of our week looking at how volunteering can make you feel good to banish those midwinter blues, we talk to Nick who volunteers for us in Kent.
In November last year we completed our annual volunteer survey. 91% of our volunteers said their volunteering gives them a real sense of achievement. This can of course make you feel good, but volunteering can also help in other ways to increase wellbeing.
Nick helps clients accessing our Live Well Kent service, which supports them to improve their physical and mental health. Nick spends time talking to them to find and access activities that will help them connect with others, stay active and in some cases learn a new skill or start a new hobby. He will then also accompany them for the first few times, to offer some moral support. Taking up new activities helps clients reach the 5 steps to wellbeing.
Nick has experienced mental health problems himself, so he understands how important it is to help people overcome them. Nick says, “Being able to offer a helping hand is of huge importance in trying to overcome some of the drawbacks when you’re experiencing a mental health problem; things like the stigma attached to mental health, isolation for individuals, and a sense of loss of hope. The possibility that I can help improve the life of someone else is part of the essence of humanity, in my view, and volunteering becomes self-fulfilling.”
Nick says volunteering has done this for him, “I think overall my has improved quite basically because I’m able to give-back. I get the feeling of contributing towards something good, having some added meaning and have gained momentum in my own life as a result of the voluntary work.” The structure and focus Nick. “For me, my positivity has improved and more of my needs are being met; enjoyment, achievement and a sense of connection. Being more active is a huge bonus.”
As well as giving back, Nick has noticed the difference connecting with other people has made during the course of his volunteering. “Interacting with people at Shaw Trust, Live Well Kent and with clients makes me feel good. To be part of a team helps with self-esteem and self-worth.” He feels good making his contribution. By continuing the volunteer role, Nick is confident his own wellbeing will continue to stay on track, “All in all, I feel like my life is very much back on track. Live Well Kent has really been a wonderful thing for me. It satisfies my desire to be back in a way I would otherwise not have if the opportunity was not there.”
If Nick’s story has inspired you click on the link below to complete a quick enquiry form
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The structure and focus have also helped