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Ex volunteer in the Warehouse and Carpentry Workshop

In the later stages of recovering from a stress related mental illness, I decided to look for voluntary work, to assist in helping me integrate socially and support me in returning to a working environment. A close neighbour of mine was a volunteer and recommended the experience. A quick Google on the Internet followed by a phone call soon gave me an interview with Chris Christie, the volunteer recruiter. After an enjoyable interview I was offered two activities. Monday working at the Furniture Warehouse and Tuesday mornings at the Furniture Workshop.

Working at the Warehouse with a good team involved going out in the van to collect and distribute furniture as required. It gave my self-esteem a great boost to be out mixing with the general public, and my physical fitness improved also with the lifting and carrying aspect of the work.

Working in the Workshop was my favourite option though, as it gave me the opportunity to revisit my love of making and repairing things made from wood. Skills in renovation were imparted as and when required, along with using specialist machinery and tools. I was in heaven, and it gave me such a sense of well-being and satisfaction. A mug of tea, a chat with lots of banter, a purposeful working environment, and like minded people became instrumental in facilitating a significant part of my recovery process.

I have for the time being moved onto an opportunity to work outside temporarily, but I will return to help out in future. I can only speak highly of the organisation and the work it does for the community. It helped me enormously in overcoming some psychological hurdles, and I will be forever grateful for that.

August 21, 2013

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