Following a TIA (mini stroke) Mary became socially isolated and lost her confidence as she was stuck at home on her own and rarely saw anyone.
Mary contacted The Bureau to find out about volunteering opportunities with an aim was to meet people and support others with disabilities. Mary went along for a taster session at Time Out and enjoyed it, and now volunteers twice a week.
Mary enjoys meeting other people and has gained a greater understanding of other disabilities. She also feels that her own experiences have given her the understanding to be able to support new service users who appear shy or nervous on their first visits. She encourages them to join in activities or just sits and talks to them on a one-to-one.
Says Mary, “Volunteering here has really built up my confidence. I find it easier to talk to people now and it makes me leave the house. I’ve also done more learning through the Volunteer Passport course and I’m now doing other volunteering too. I’m becoming more outgoing.”
Mary also volunteers at the Glossop Arts Project, and says, “I wouldn’t have said yes to doing this a few years ago”.
Volunteering with Time Out has also made Mary aware of the need to look after her own health so she now comes along to the seated exercise class on a Wednesday at Time Out and has also sought out another class with the same instructor local to her home.
When asked if there were any other benefits to her volunteering, Mary replied, “I think the workers at The Bureau are fabulous. You can ask them anything. Because I live on my own sometimes I need someone to talk to about a decision I’m making – just for reassurance that I’m making the right decision really. Staff will always take time to listen to me and help me.”
Mary has now been volunteering for three years.
We have changed all names to protect peoples’ privacy.