After graduating with a psychology degree in 2013, I thought employment would naturally follow suit. However, I soon learned that having a good degree on its own was not enough for many employers and what they really valued was experience. I decided the best course of action for me to take in order to obtain this experience was to look into volunteering with local organisations. I was familiar with the services FDAMH provided and thought it would be the ideal place for me to gain practical experience of working with those with mental health problems.
Every volunteer FDAMH takes on is put through a training programme which is an excellent way of preparing you for what your role as a volunteer will entail. After completing the training, I started volunteering at the organisation’s card making group. It is a small and quiet group that focuses on the principles of mindfulness. For me, it was a lovely way to spend some time being creative and help others gain confidence through an activity which they enjoyed. Volunteering, in turn, also gave me confidence and a real sense of purpose. It is so refreshing to feel part of the team at FDAMH too; they really do value their volunteers and offer many beneficial training courses that I ordinarily wouldn’t have had access to.
After just a few short months of volunteering, I was offered a job in FDAMH’S drop-in service as a Health and Wellbeing Support Worker. I am thrilled to be taken on as a member of staff and owe it to my time volunteering in which I gained invaluable experience. To anyone who is considering volunteering, I can’t recommend it highly enough. There are a range of opportunities available at FDAMH to suit whichever area it is you are interested in and the wonderful Morag is on hand to help with any queries you may have. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!