“In January 2012 I had a mental health crisis and had to give up my work as a freelance researcher.
“I thought I’d never get back to work”
It was about 9 months later when my sister saw an advertisement in ‘Maldon Life’ for administration volunteers for Maldon and District CVS and suggested I apply. So I called them and went in for an informal chat to see if we could help each other out.
I began by volunteering for about 3-4 hours per week updating databases, sending out emails and undertaking mailshots. Initially my concentration was poor but it felt good to focus on tasks for short periods. As my concentration increased and my confidence grew I took on more roles within the organisation helping with DBS checks and providing support at events.
Eventually in January 2014 I was offered a temporary paid post as Administration Officer which I carried out for seven months. This gave me the confidence to take on the role of Projects Officer at CVS when it was offered it to me. The role involved setting up and running the Time Banks volunteering project in the Maldon District as well as providing monitoring and evaluation support to other CVS projects. At first the role of Projects Officer was on a contract basis but I have recently become a permanent member of staff.
When I look back to how I was in 2012 I have come such a long way in a relatively short space of time. I would recommend volunteering to anyone who has suffered a mental health crisis as it really helps you combat the tiredness and loss of concentration. Also you never know what it might lead to….”