Building confidence through volunteering – Mark’s journey
The Step Up project supports people who have experienced mental ill-health to access volunteering as part of their mental health recovery and personal journey towards employment.
Mark came to Step Up because he wanted to build his confidence and develop new skills. Naturally shy, he wanted to put his mathematical skills to good use in a supportive environment. After meeting with Chris, Step Up Project Manager, the team supported him to find a volunteering role tutoring with IntoUniversity, an organisation that supports students who are least likely to go to university or achieve their educational aspiration.
“I had not been practicing maths for a while – it was a little bit rusty”. As a volunteer classroom tutor, Mark was able to practice his skills in areas which he hadn’t practiced in for some years, whilst helping students with their maths. In his volunteer role, he worked closely with around 6 students, as well as working one to one and one to two, helping students with maths in particular, but also playing a significant role into supporting a student with her reading skills.
‘[Volunteering] was very positive experience for me… I would recommend to any one to volunteer here [at IntoUniversity]”. Mark has now been volunteering as a classroom tutor for just over a year. A productive and satisfying experience, he enjoys the role as well as the social side of volunteering such as being able to meet with other volunteers every week.
For Mark, the experience of volunteering has been life-changing; “I am more optimistic regarding the future, before it was a grey area. I was lost. It has changed now. I would definitely recommend volunteering as a means to build confidence and develop new skills”. He enjoys his role so much that he is considering continuing with it, even if his employment situation changes.
If you have experienced mental ill health, and are interested in volunteering, get in touch with Chris, Step Up Project Manager and find out how we can support you.