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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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Hooray for today! I’ve just been to my local volunteering centre for my initial appointment – Volunteering options are great! I start Friday!

I’m so excited I had to write about it straight away!

Oh my gosh, I have just come back from my appointment at the local volunteering centre and I have so many options now – I’m even starting a little job this Friday!

The interview, with the very lovely lady who manages the volunteering roles for the area, went really well! I was with her for over an hour, chatting about my personal mental health, recovery, my memoir, my work skills (employment consultant, office manager, marketing, hospitality, rehab work, and property management), the counselling course I have just completed and the one day journalism course I am doing in March. I also told her I kind of voluntarily advocated for mental illness stigma from home. And I will tell you something – saying all that gave me a confidence boost!

If it were a year ago, I would still be thinking that I was a failure and had nothing to give anyone! What a long way I have come! I think it has finally sunk in now. And, although you may think that I have always seemed confident through the internet – you’d have been wrong. Yes I promoted my book etc but inside I was still not good enough.

I digress (as ever eh!). So, we then spoke about the type of roles I would like to do. Well, marketing, social media, PR, something with the elderly or people with mental health issues, or animals… There was a lot. The lady then offered me to work with her in the office, where I could do admin, PR, social networking, interview volunteers (as she was me in that moment), going out to find and set up new voluntary roles – lot’s of things. The best thing is that I can do as little or as much as I want to, responsibility wise

Then we began looking at other roles and out of a seemingly endless list of roles that would suit me, I picked out four.

One for a later date maybe is puppy training for one year. You take on a puppy and walk it, socialise it and loosely train it for one year, then you return the puppy where it will be tested and assessed to see if it will be a suitable dog to train as a guide dog for the blind. Oh wow, what a job! Kittens, cats, puppies – oh dear how will I choose what to help!

Second, is being a ‘mentor’ for the elderly – basically to befriend and help an elderly person who I would be assigned to – just a few hours per week. I couldn’t believe there was this type of job, but it is one I have said I would love to do for the last few months, if there were opportunities. Amazing!

Thirdly, is a role on Tuesdays, helping a staff member with a small group of elderly people who have dementia, during their activity group. Oh wow, another satisfying role where my counselling skills would be handy.

Just a note here that, during the interview, and whilst writing this, I have probably had around seven momentary bouts of doubt where I feel that ‘it’s too responsible’ ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I won’t be any good at it’ but they bounce off as quickly as they come. As we said in the interview, it would be best to get me into something rather than dilly dallying, and trial it for 2/3 sessions to see if it suit me and them.

So, fourth, I chose a role working with those who suffer with mental illness. It’s for ‘Rethink’ and is facilitating groups within the local community to gain access to activities and peer groups in a social setting. The groups offer a self management and recovery service designed around aspirations.

So, there you go! And there were so many more really interesting, wonderful volunteering jobs – things to suit everyone and every skill just about! I decided not to go for the ‘rape or abuse telephone support lines’ as it might be too triggering for me, and also people with mental illness one to one, but we said it might be something for the future, when I feel more confident.  It took a good think to narrow down my first options to these four, and the puppy caring I cannot even do until I move. But even with these choices, I still want to do them all – I don’t want to say no, I won’t help the elderly, I’ll help people with mental illness, or vice versa.

So, I shall sleep on it. But for now, I have just committed to doing 2 hours in the volunteer centre on Friday, so I shall see how that goes…… A great achievement for me since I only went to ask a few questions LOL 🙂  And in the same week I am coming off my meds! Hooray!

Could you do volunteering and help people out?

Take care,

Amanda 🙂  (gotta go so I can continue my singing dancing celebration LOL)

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3 comments to Hooray for today! I’ve just been to my local volunteering centre for my initial appointment – Volunteering options are great! I start Friday!

  • David

    Congratulations again. 2 biggies in one week. I couldn’t be more leased for you or proud of you. What you’ve managed is remarkable and I think what you’re going to manage is remarkable too.
    I wish I could answer your question positively but the answer is no ( though that’s positive too isn’t it). I’m not ready to step out of the house to help yet though if I can do it from indoors I will.
    Just you keep going from strength o strength like this- you’re unstoppable.

  • Dody

    Can’t keep down a resilient woman who has the passion to ‘give back’ running in her veins! I certainly could not keep up with you, Amanda..LOL..yet I do resonate with the healthy choices that you are making for yourself, your life. A great role model, you are :-}

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