Today marks the start of Volunteer Week 2020, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering, giving all of us the chance to thank the many volunteers up and down the country giving up their time for good causes, which, during the COVID-19 pandemic, is more important than ever.
To mark volunteer week, we asked one of our volunteers, Emma, to tell us a bit about her experience volunteering at Chapter. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us a bit about your volunteer role at Chapter
I have been doing some small admin jobs, such as calling service users for information, and also supporting the delivery of workshops and activities. It has been really interesting to get involved in different parts of the charity to get a small glimpse of how it all works together. I have enjoyed wearing different hats and learning not only more about the charity, but also about myself and where my strengths and weaknesses are.
What attracted you to volunteering?
I have been interested in volunteering for a while and being new to Chester, I wanted to do something where I would meet people. Volunteering gives me so much joy and has helped to develop my career options.
What have you gained from volunteering or what do you hope to gain from volunteering?
So far I have gained a deeper understanding of mental health and how problems can affect us all. I have learnt new strategies and awareness of my own mental wellbeing and ways to help others. In the current situation with COVID-19 it has given me some stability and things to look forward to, which is especially important at the moment.
Why did you chose to volunteer at Chapter?
Mental illness has effected many of the people close to me and has since been an area of interest. I am considering a career in mental health nursing chose to volunteer at Chapter because it was one of the few charities in this area focusing primarily on mental health. I also liked how community focused Chapter’s activities and projects are, I think the importance of community and a sense of belonging is incredibly important in anyone's journey to recovery and have seen the strength of this with Chapter.
Has volunteering had an impact on your overall wellbeing?
100%! Having been furloughed from my job due to the current circumstances, like many, I was lost for something to do each day, each week even! Chapter has not only given me something to focus on, but given me the opportunity to help and feel like I am making a difference in times when I could otherwise feel hopeless. Chapter has also made me hugely aware of my own mental wellbeing and helped me reflect on my life. I am so grateful for the experience.
Do you have any other comments about volunteering that you’d like to share?
Volunteering has an incredible power to make you feel useful in a world where you otherwise don't. One of the most important things in life for me is to have a sense of purpose, and volunteering gives me that. Specifically working with Chapter, you have the opportunity to really make someone’s day better, and in exchange also making your entire week! That is invaluable.
We want to thank all our volunteers who make a real difference to the work we do, whether you help to run activities, or support some of our business functions behind the scenes, your hard work and commitment to Chapter is essential to our charity work. Thank you!
For more information about how you can volunteer at Chapter click here. We’d love to have you join the team!