I started to volunteer with Community CVS (then Blackburn with Darwen CVS) in 2011, initially not knowing what I wanted to do. I quickly found that there were thousands of opportunities to choose from. Soon after engaging, I realized that I was using skills that I thought I never had as well as developing new skills. This quickly built up my motivation within a working environment and my personal life. All areas started to shine, I started to shine. My confidence grew with the added bonus of training opportunities.
Through being consistent and eager to develop further, I started to work with others and feel valued as well as part of a team. My experience and troubled background started to become an asset, far from the hindrance I once thought it was. Everyone in my life saw and felt the benefits, me especially.
I looked back to where I was before starting and what I saw was astounding. All the attitudes and behaviours that held me back in the past had changed. I was reliable, punctual, helpful, active, happy, willing to learn, balanced, supportive, organized plus much more with a growing work ethic. I gained direction and could see a path to build a future. Someone once told me you have to start at the bottom but the amazing thing was I wasn’t at the bottom anymore, I had choices with more responsibility. I stayed focused and kept on growing educationally and sociably. My friends grew, my support grew and, to my amazement, people wanted support from me.
I have now developed into other roles within other treatment providers such as GMW (NHS) delivering a presentation to help people into treatment services. Also, I take a client group out to fitness centres developing client’s health and wellbeing, working with youths to supply advocacy and support with the young people’s resource centre, support people into voluntary work with Fast Forward as a Recovery Support Volunteer and I also work as part of a team with “VOICE” feeding the homeless at a local soup kitchen. I also volunteer for Café Hub which is an amazing growing recovery community base. I’m also at University completing an Alcohol and Substance Misuse Degree. I can regularly get called upon to deliver a motivational or educational speech with Training 2000 and I’m on the Volunteer Training programme within Community CVS.