Ellie on mental health and volunteering

After leaving the workplace due to illness and being ‘out of the loop’ for quite some time, my confidence and self-esteem were at an all-time low. I was trapped in a cycle of depression and anxiety with no clear way out.
I was told about the Confidence Building for Women Returners course provided by Future Intentions and thought that this might be just what I needed. Attending and participating in the course was a very big deal for me as I had not ventured outdoors for many months and was very isolated.
After an initial one-to-one meeting with the founder, Liz Hempshall I was put at my ease and enrolled on the course in November 2018 in the hope of regaining that part of myself which I seemed to have lost along the way, and began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
The course was a turning point for me in rebuilding my self-worth and self-esteem, and I have not looked back.
I was delighted to find in February 2019 that a volunteer was needed in an administrative capacity and I lost no time in offering my services. It seemed the perfect way for me to repay the kindness I had received and also to ‘pay it forward’ in the way of helping others who were in my position. Since then I have found my confidence and self-belief returning to me as I feel useful, productive and part of a team again.
After three months I was asked to take on the role of Lead Admin, a prospect which would have terrified me a year ago, yet I was able to embrace the opportunity to work with a team of hard-working volunteers who I am now proud to call my friends.
I have now attended other courses such as bid writing and represented the company at Job Fairs around the region, I am also excited to be embarking on a Team Leading qualification in the new year.
For the first time in a long time there is much to look forward to and I am incredibly proud of what we have already achieved and our exciting plans for the future.

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