While battling with long-term illness, Anne slid into depression and social isolation. During this time, Anne began receiving help from the Specialist Psychosis Team on her road to recovery. Community 360 were subsequently approached by Anne’s Support Worker to see if a volunteer role would be beneficial to her emotional wellbeing and ongoing recovery.
Anne met with a member of the Community360 Community Development team, together with Anne’s Support Worker, to find out what Anne’s strengths were, to get to know each other a little, and discuss what Community360 do and the nature of the volunteering role. The role discussed was a slipper volunteer opportunity and it was agreed that this role would suit Anne’s personality and skill set. From here, Anne was introduced to the My Social PrescriptionTM team and the Community360 environment.
Anne has since been supporting the team on the slipper exchange project and is responsible for orchestrating follow up conversations and surveys with service users, who have received a pair of slippers. Anne then records this data on a spreadsheet and in doing so, Community 360 are able to gather vital statistical information to demonstrate the success of the slipper exchange programme. ‘’It has been lovely to watch Anne grow in confidence and settle into her role. She has proved to be an invaluable volunteer of the Community 360 team’’ said Georgina Delves, Engagement Officer, who is supporting Anne in this role.
Anne has also become involved in volunteering for Community360’s Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) project and has been supporting our Dementia Coordinator, with her role. Anne has been responsible for updating contact names and email addresses for the DAA database and dispatching invites to DAA meetings and sending emails to obtain progress updates regarding member’s Action Plans.
Anne has also become a member of Community360’s Time Bank scheme and has been able to bank her volunteer hours, to then redeem these credits against the skills and support offered by other Time Bank members. In doing so, Anne is helping to contribute to the empowerment of individuals and groups to bring about change, make choices and take control of their own lives and neighbourhoods.
Despite being in recovery from physical and mental health issues including sight difficulties, Anne is thriving in her challenging and rewarding volunteering roles. Through volunteering, Anne has not only increased her mental resilience and furthered her knowledge and skill set, but has also made a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing of the wider community.