After completing the application process I began my volunteer role, which involved assisting people we support with a basic IT course. The experience I gained in this supportive environment enabled me to further develop my self belief and confidence in my own abilities. I went on to volunteer on other courses and this culminated in my enrolment on the Level 2 accredited volunteer training course, where I developed a range of new skills and improved existing ones. I found this to be an extremely rewarding and eye-opening experience, causing me to realise just how far I had come on my recovery journey.
Not long after this, my Peer Support Coordinator told me that she was going on maternity leave for a year and with her encouragement, I was able to draw on my newly awakened sense of self worth and my positive experiences as a volunteer to apply for her post. Much to my surprise and excitement, I was not only shortlisted for interview but was actually offered the job!
I have found my role as Peer Support Coordinator to be a thoroughly enjoyable, enriching and positive experience. I look forward to going to work every day and I also have the privilege of helping other people (both people using our services and volunteers) on their own individual recovery journeys.
Reflecting on the past year and a half has made me fully appreciate the invaluable role that volunteers play in supporting both the staff team and the people we support. Without meaning to sound overly dramatic, Richmond Fellowship and the services it provides has transformed my life completely and enabled me to leave my debilitating mental health issues in the past.