“I’m here to listen”: Our volunteers’ crucial role in clients’ mental health recovery 

For Volunteers’ Week, Ben shares his experience volunteering with Second Step, how he supports our clients with their mental health recovery, and why he recommends volunteering with Second Step to anyone thinking about giving some of their time to make a real difference in people’s lives.  

Hiya, I’m Ben and I’m a current volunteer at Second Step, and this is a short video just to tell you about my time with them.   

So, I’ve been volunteering with the charity for just over 12 months now with the Get Connected project and essentially my role is to meet the service users on a one-to-one basis.   
The first person I worked with, Andy (obviously not their real name for confidentiality reasons), had a really interesting history of alcohol and substance abuse and obviously had some very difficult trauma to deal with. We would meet on a one-to-one basis, usually Friday afternoon, just at a local café, and my role was just to kind of provide a safe space for him to discuss how he was feeling, any significant issues that were coming up and it was really just a sort of engaging and reflecting exercise.   
I wasn’t there to therapise by any means. It was just more to listen and to be a sounding board for Andy really. I found it a hugely, hugely rewarding experience to be able to engage with someone that I probably wouldn’t do on a day-to-day basis. Just to kind of, I guess, really understand that I’m engaging with the person in the here and now rather than who they were. I think in doing that, it really changed my perceptions of other kinds of people in the wider world. So yeah, it was rewarding in that sense, and obviously giving your time to someone who appreciates it, it goes without saying, is really, really nice. And I know, say, Andy, he had a lot of positive feedback about the experience, which was also really good to hear. And obviously, it’s wonderful to know that you’ve helped someone along the way.   
So yeah, if you’re thinking about volunteering or you’ve got an interest in mental health and kind of want to find out more, I would say Second Step is a great place to start. The team are really, really nice and it’s just a sort of welcoming environment to be in. If you’ve got any questions, I’m sure I’m sure they’d love to hear from you and, yeah, I just can’t speak highly enough of the charity really.   
So yeah, I hope this video was helpful and gives you a bit of an insight into kind of what we do, and I hope you take care. Cheers.  

Thank you to all our volunteers  

Every year in the first week of June, we say thank you to our volunteers for their incredible work over the past year. Your compassion and commitment help our clients feel heard, understood and supported through the twists and turns of mental health recovery.   

We’re always looking for volunteers to join our friendly, supportive team. Are you interested in mental health volunteering? Find out more about how you can get involved on our volunteering webpage. Or, if you have any questions about volunteering with us, fill in our online contact form here and a member of our team will get in touch.  

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