Case Study: R.

As a carer for my mum I was unable to finish school with GCSEs. At only 17, I was forced to get married to a man more than twice my age. My life would have seemed better for me if I had just ended it all. I could no longer live at home, a home that seemed to be more of a prison. I chose to leave. I left home with only two bin bags of clothes. For the next few years, I had lived from a hostel, to a grotty bedsit and at one point even homeless. Through my journey, I knew I needed the help to get me back on my feet. I came across organisations such as the Women’s Centre, and the Wish Centre. Here I was offered counselling, CBT, and just interacting with other women helped me get through those dark days. Finally, I had a place I could call my home, I got myself into college, worked hard through the years and once finished.

It was while at university, that I got to know about volunteering. Heeding my lecturer’s advice, I looked into it and thought I can do this. While studying for my degree, I looked into becoming a volunteer and help others within mental health and care. I wanted to give something back and help others as I had got the help when I needed.

I now volunteer weekly on the Volunteering on Prescription project – supporting and helping individuals who are now in a place where I once was.

Volunteering has given me the opportunity to give something back which is one of the greatest benefits of being a volunteer.

Volunteering has given me the chance to develop the skills that I have learned at University.

Not only am I meeting people from different backgrounds, but knowing that I am doing something positive to help others. Without volunteering, I wouldn’t have the skills and the training to do the work I have studied so hard for, helping others through mental health and giving people the life skills so that they can live a positive and fulfilling life.