Meet Greg – Former Service User and Current Volunteer
Creative Support runs a Social Inclusion Service based in Blackburn. The service aims to support service users with mental health needs to feel included in their community. Service users can also get involved in the project through volunteering. As well as encouraging our current service users, Creative Support seeks to involve service users who have moved on from our services. They can help us improve our support, and in Greg’s case, help us to run our services too!
Greg, who is a former Creative Support service user, currently volunteers for 14 hours a week to help staff run sessions at the Blackburn SIS office. You can read about his experiences below:
What do you do at the Blackburn service?:
On Monday mornings I help run the badminton group with one of my colleagues. On Wednesdays I run the computer group where I teach I.T. Usually I teach one to one but sometime I can have two or three people at once in the class. I teach word processing, spreadsheets, desk-top publishing, computer art, how to use the internet and how to use email.
What motivates you to volunteer, and what do you like about it?
I used to be a service user of Creative Support and after I moved on, Creative Support in Blackburn contacted me and asked me if I would like to volunteer. I wasn’t doing much with my life and was not well enough to look for full time work, so I gladly agreed to volunteer on a part time basis.
Playing badminton on Monday mornings is lots of fun and keeps me in shape. Each exercise I make for the computer group gives me a sense of achievement especially when I have finished teaching it.
How has volunteering helped you?
Before volunteering I stayed in my flat too much and spent too much time sleeping. Volunteering gets me up three days a week which also provides lots of structure to the rest of the week. My general mood for the week is a lot higher and I have more confidence in my life.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to volunteer?
Volunteering can make you feel a lot better about your life and it gives good structure to your week. If you feel you can contribute something to Creative Support and would like to then volunteering is for you. If you feel you are not up to it but would like to do it, don’t give up just yet as Creative Support can help you achieve your goal.
If you are a current or former service user and would like to get more involved in Creative Support, please contact Harriet Knowles on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0161 236 0829 for information on what we offer.