Volunteer with Creative Support

Volunteer with Creative Support

Volunteering can make a real difference to your own life and to the lives of those around you.

Jack has been a Creative Support volunteer befriender to Darren for the last six months, visiting him at his home in Droylsden.

“I was feeling lonely and looking to make new friends,” said Darren. “I find it hard to let people in and I needed to be in the right place to accept help and support.”

Jack took time to get to know Darren and his weekly visits have helped to build Darren’s confidence and self-esteem. They have common interests in football and golf and Darren now feels comfortable enough to share some of his personal experiences with Jack.

Jack says this works both ways. He’s pursuing a career as a forensic psychologist and says Darren has helped him to understand mental health from a different perspective.

Jack feels the befriending role is about adapting your approach to help individual people, and he has developed a flexible but supportive approach with Darren. “There is lots of training on offer for new volunteers to access to help them with the role,” said Jack.

Darren now looks forward to Jack’s visits: “I would recommend looking for a befriender,” he said. “It has really helped me.”

Amanda is a volunteer at the North Lancashire Community Inclusion Service. The service provides community support for people with mental health needs at risk of social isolation. It provides structured opportunities for service users to learn new skills and develop their confidence. They have a range of activities available, such as cookery classes, photography and sewing. Amanda had been a volunteer activity assistant for a year and a half.

She set up a volunteer craft group at Cleveleys Community Centre on a Wednesday morning called ‘Coffee and Pebbles’ where she encourages people to get involved in all sorts of crafts including making cards, table rock gardens and knitting.

“Creative Support development workers have really helped me and now I want to give something back,” said Amanda.

“Volunteering has taught me a lot of things like ‘treat people the way you would like to be treated.’ I like people to choose what they want to do each week and we also do a lot of nattering! I would like to continue helping Creative Support,” she added.

To find out more about volunteering contact volunteer@creativesupport.co.uk