"Volunteering for RDASH"
About: Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust Doncaster DN4 8QN
Posted by red10 (as ),
I was offered a volunteering placement within RDASH to help with my recovery. I gradually built up more confidence and took on more responsibilty.
I was treated as part of the team to a certain extent in that my views and opinions were acted upon, however I was never invited to the communications meetings and team away days across the whole trust.
This made me feel devalued and exculded, it was becomming clear that I was doing the work of a paid employee and my occupational therapist agreed with me that it would be better for me to leave the post.
Since leaving the post the project deadline had to be moved back abd has still not been completed. In addition to this I since been given a copy of the volunteer policy which states that I should have been getting payed lunch and full access to all training inclucding induction and health and safety.
I never received any training at all and was on occasion left to man the office on my own.
This has left me with feelings of being used by the Trust and made me reluctant to take on another placement. Although I wanted to be involved and valued my opinion being taken, there was an occasion during a meeting when my measured opinion was not welcomed by some present and I was asked to leave the room, this felt like a summary dismisal.
Shortly after this I was admitted back to hospital, the team I worked with were great but they did not seem to grasp how Ifelt about being excluded and did not offer any explanation for this despite me raising the issue, it appeared that this was part and parcel for someone in my position.
It has felt to me that the gains in confidence and self esteem I had made were mitigated by a lack of understanding of the process of recovery for mental health service users.
This is something of a suprise to me given that my placement was with a mental health trust