It was time to say goodbye, to my volunteer role.

After over 4 years and nearly 5 months being a volunteer, it was time to say goodbye today. This was because as you know, I got my morning cleaning job, as announced in this post, It’s finally happened ….

My role has been varied over the years and I have enjoyed everything about it.

I have also grown as a person, because I first chose to volunteer because I knew it would have to keep me talking. I was that low, I felt myself closing down. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. Not even my mum if I could help it. So by volunteering, I obviously had to keep talking, so I would appear to be friendly to everyone that used it. This place brought me out of my shell that I was going into. So I have very fond memories.

It wasn’t planned originally I would be in today, because I let one of the workers know I wouldn’t be in last Friday, due to starting the new job possibly this week. But when I heard nothing by last night, I knew it would be safe to let them know I was doing one more.

Although it was my last day at volunteering, I did not say goodbye. I couldn’t. Instead, I said see you, because I know I will be back to say hello on my day off from work, or whenever in area and convenient to pop in. Likewise, they would like me to keep in touch too.

I received a card and a necklace off them, as my leaving present. Surprisingly, my tears did not come towards the end while there and I wondered what was wrong with me. But when I left and walked down the drive into town, they flowed then.

I will be seeing them in July, as I have been invited to a party then, as they will be celebrating 35 years providing to the local community. I bet I shall be in before then though.

If I have problems being wrongly taxed, I was encouraged to come in by the person in charge and she would phone the tax people on my behalf if required. She knows her taxes.


I shed tears today, because …

Since I have lost my DLA last year, it has made an effect on my life. I am noticing it more this year and for the next two or three months, until things settle, I’m not sure how things will go. But I know the important bills will get paid.

I have now been in my new lovely job for over 3 months now and I know how much overtime on average I can get. This means now, I have to seek extra employment elsewhere which my current employer is ok about as long as it does not affect the evening shift I am on. So now I know where I stand with this, which is not as strict as I first imagined, now he has explained it to me, it is time to look for permanent morning work.
However, although I don’t have to, the morning work I will seek, I will make sure it will be at hours and days of the week that would not affect overtime I could get with my current employer, which I have let my boss know, so he knows I am still happy to do the overtime. So one day, when the right one comes along, I will apply.

But now, because I have to seek more part-time work, it will affect my volunteer role. One day, when I get a morning job, I will have to say goodbye to the place I have volunteered at for over 4 years. I have had private chats with two staff members about it today, after holding of for months, hoping it would not come to this. They understand, but I know they will miss me and the contribution I make, as they don’t have many volunteers. The manager of where I have volunteer for, will happily give me a reference to anywhere I apply, like she did before and my boss of my new workplace is happy to give a reference too.

So today, after chatting with the two staff at my volunteer place, of what might happen one day, I have now shed tears away from there. This volunteer place will always leave a positive lasting impression for me. It was my first volunteer role and as I have said already, I have been here for over 4 years now.

I have seen the forum grow and my volunteer role, although it did not have to, it changed because I was happy to the same work that one of the workers there do, as I knew he needed the help, being a one-man band.

I have also changed and grown, because when I started there, I had depression at my worst stage where I was close to not speaking and closing myself off from family and friends, I had no confidence, or self-esteem. Being there meant I had to speak and so in turn when at home with family or friends, meant I could keep the speaking up. I gained confidence and my self-esteem.
I have not spoken much about my volunteer role here on this blog, but those of you that I have known me from my blogging days when I used to write my deaf blog, will know the role I did, until the role changed, when I volunteered to be more hands on with different kinds of work, but not the craft kind.

When the time comes to one day I leave, it will be very hard.

Volunteer update

After leaving the one that did not make use of me, I was hoping to volunteer elsewhere, that would not be too far to travel to. This would have been with Mind and I posted the application for volunteering with them, near the end of last week.

I heard from them today, thanking me for applying to be a volunteer. But unfortunately, they have any volunteer vacancies at present that will fit with my availability.

I can’t say I don’t feel disappointed to hear this and upset about this, as I was looking forward to the possibility of helping there. I am not going to apply anywhere else I had in mind, that came second to this one. Instead, I am just going to take this as a blessing in disguise. I am going to concentrate on finishing my final piece of my mental health course, which a lot of work is going into this final piece and I have the other two to courses to over the next year. So more time to focus on them.

Also, I plan to sort out dates for driving lessons, so more flexibility to concentrate on this and free time to arrange more than one lesson a week when it comes to learning to drive. So this is why I think it is a blessing in disguise.


Volunteering is good for self-esteem

If you have low self-esteem, then getting out of your comfort zone and volunteering will help improve your self-esteem.
Those that have known me from a previous blog I used to write, will know that Ashfield Play Forum was the first place I volunteered at. At was at my lowest moment prior to starting there; not feeling good because of work, confidence really low and I was depressed. I also started shutting off people close to me by not speaking, if I could.

I started volunteering at Ashfield Play Forum in January 2014 and I am still there, enjoying a wide variety of tasks. I like helping where I can and it improved my confidence and made me speak, which in turn made me feel I could speak up again to family, or close friends. I also felt useful.

July 2015 I started a new volunteering opportunity with Nottinghamshire Hospice, volunteering in a shop. This volunteering role took me out of my comfort zone and I enjoyed it there. Although I started off in the shop itself, I ended up working upstairs, as this was where I felt I was doing something and I felt useful; steaming the clothes and occasionally sorting. Although I loved it, I decided to leave after not quite a year being there, to pursue something different. This was then when I decided to volunteer at Rosewood.
Rosewood was the best move I made, as you will know when I talked about it here in this post. Although it is still early days and I have not yet started my volunteering role in feedback and patient experience, I still feel positive about my chosen volunteering route and I look forward to gaining different experiences.

So I definitely recommend volunteering to anyone. Just find what you’d like to do when it comes to volunteering, as there are different places you can volunteer at and give it a go. As well as improving your self-esteem and confidence, it can also be good for your CV, as well as for the company/charity you volunteer for.


It’s an achievement for me

Today was when I travelled to a new area I had not been to before and as you know from a previous post, I can get anxiety when travelling somewhere new. (The link to that post at the end of this one, if you have not already read it.)
Armed with my eTrex 20 and a paper map as a back up, I caught the bus needed to get to Rosewood Centre at Church Circle, New Ollerton. For most of my journey my anxiety was not as bad as I thought it would be, but getting nearer to the end of my journey it did increase. Luckily, I soon realised I was coming to my destination and that anxiety, although still there, I was beaming, feeling proud with myself that I got there. 🙂

Now for anyone who travels, you may wonder why it is a big deal for me and why worry. But this is my anxiety. This is what happens to me because my confidence did not grow as a child, as something, or someone would knock it away. So over my adult years my confidence has grown, but slowly, because it can be a battle. That battle has got easier over the last 2 years and after today, I feel great and things I have observed on my travels today, I want to go back to and take a look.

My first impressions

My first impressions of New Ollerton was that I absolutely loved the look of the place and when I arrived at Church Circle, my first observation was how quiet it seemed, to say it’s a big village.

Rosewood Involvement Centre

Rosewood Involvement Centre is behind the health centre and the bus stop is just outside the health centre. (Although I got off a stop before, as it still was a very short walk to it.)

The place was very welcoming and I got to know the person who is the Manager there, more about Rosewood Involvement Centre, having a chat about myself, so the manager knew more about me and then I was shown around the place. The place is small, but for a newbie like myself, it still seemed a bit of a maze to me, so I was losing my bearings a little. (I know this will get better.) I then met some of the volunteers there and stayed there through till the afternoon, chatting with them, then joining in at their meeting they were having in the afternoon.

I have a volunteer application form to fill in and bring back with me when I start attending next Friday as a volunteer. I will be starting off at the centre for so long, so I receive appropriate training, learning more about the place and basically settling in, before going out of the centre to do a role that interests me.

From discussion with the manager, there are plenty of opportunities that will be good on my CV and I from what I learnt today, I know I will get even more experience then I expected, which could be put to good use.

Related post: