"It has made me feel like I can make a difference"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult Mental Health Services - Community (City)

(as a volunteer/advocate),

Before I was involved with the service, it was boring. I didn't have much to do. The Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Service was mentioned in hospital, but I was not ready at the time. I referred myself, from the information leaflets at the Recovery College. I phoned up, but the problem was that I didn't know what I wanted to do. This first time, it wasn't very good. I tried various clubs, but the ones I tried weren't any good. I saw various different workers before I made my mind up. That gave me the information to make a decision. Initially it was slow to get into volunteering and the first one I tried needed lots of references that I didn't have.

I am not very good at getting to new places, and I have had support through Sangita to do that. The service has made a lot of difference to my life. The volunteering at Emmanuel House is very good. I go on Saturday and Sunday and two days in the week. I work in the kitchens, food preparation, serving coffees, collecting pots and talking to the clients. I sometimes work on the desk, doing the vouchers, in the shop, upstairs sorting out the clothes and occasionally they let me do a little office work.

Volunteering there has given me a goal. to work in that sort of environment. I have volunteered to work in the Winter Night Shelter, as I am enjoying the experience at Emmanuel House. The service has also got me involved with social groups, and I have made a lot of friends. It has helped me with confidence, as I was very lacking in self-confidence. I don't feel useless. It has made me feel like I can make a difference.

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Response from Julie Swann, Team Leader, Social Inclusion and Well-being Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear kitkat1,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the social inclusion team. I am delighted to hear that the service has been able to support you in using your skills and time in a positive way. One of the teams aims is to help people access opportunities to achieve thier goals and gain a sense of well being. I will pass on your kind words to Sangita and I hope you continue to build your skills through volunteering and continue with your recovery

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