Experience – Volunteering

Being a Trustee

I’m a volunteer board member at FDAMH because I like to be able to use the knowledge and skills gained from doing things at a national level at a local level, in the area I live and where I access services.

It’s brilliant to be able to see from the inside how hardworking and dedicated the staff and volunteers are to creating a supportive environment and developing and delivering services that do that.

Sometimes it’s hard to see progress when it comes to mental health and related issues so it’s always uplifting to be around people who are passionate about it and actually making a difference to people’s lives.

Tags: Board, Volunteering
15/09/2016 at 1:27 pm

Volunteering – My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner

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!

Tags: Activity Groups, Volunteering
12/01/2016 at 2:19 pm

Being a board member at FDAMH is rewarding in so many ways

Being a Board member at FDAMH is rewarding in so many ways. We have a fabulous staff team at FDAMH and playing a small part in this organisation’s success is humbling. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we can turn ideas into actions. The most rewarding thing is to see a project being discussed, funding sought and the project implemented within weeks/months. The ability of the organisation to think big and tackle the inequities of healthcare access is also greatly personally rewarding.
Everyone is touched in some way by depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Nobody is immune, I have personal experience of this despite my knowledge after working for many years in the mental health field. I used to think that I could cope with everything and was some kind of “wonder woman”. FDAMH were there for me, to support me and help me pick up the pieces and put my life back into perspective.
I am passionate about FDAMH’s success in increasing community understanding of mental health and wellbeing and reducing the stigma associated with these conditions.

Tags: Board, Volunteering
16/12/2013 at 7:16 pm

Successful befriending is based in strong training and support for volunteers

I began Befriending because I was in a position where I did not need to work. I thought it would be nice to do something for someone else and might benefit me if I needed/wished to return to university in the future.

When I first met my befriendee it could be uncomfortable (almost like we had been set up on a blind date) but as we got to know each other we began to get on well. It was good for me to have some time away from my children. It was also good for my befriendee to get out the house and be able to talk about her problems. For me it could be challenging when she cancelled on me at the last moment or when she had not done much since the last time I saw her (conversation could be quite repetitive). However I found the experience to be enjoyable and believe it helped her a good deal.

I feel my Befriending Co-ordinator, Stuart, was very supportive and communicative with me throughout my time as a befriender. He always made himself available to talk when I required it and invited me along to additional training on several occasions.

I thought my training was very good. In some regards you don’t know how good it is until you are faced with a situation with your befriendee and then you remember and your training kicks in.

I hope I am in a situation in the future to be able to return to Befriending as it is such a worthwhile cause.


Tags: Volunteering
27/11/2013 at 6:35 pm

Being a counselling volunteer

Over the last year I have had a very good experience at FDAMH. The clinical work is excellent and I have seen a wide range of clients in terms of age, gender and presenting issues. The referral procedure works well and Liz offers excellent mentoring and line management. She is organised and supportive and always gives me time when I need it. Liz has organised some excellent training opportunities from which I have learned a lot about for when working with clients.


Tags: Counselling, Volunteering
27/11/2013 at 6:22 pm

Volunteering with the Counselling Service

I have been a volunteer with FDAMH’s counselling service for over three years and during these three years there has not been a day that I have not looked forward to the challenges and rewards working at the centre brings. I experience working within the service as a boundaried and safe place which is nurturing and supportive and respectful of clients and counsellors alike. I value having ready access to the formal support that is afforded by the co-ordinator and FDAMH’s wider administrative team. Participating in the training evenings has been a welcomed opportunity to linking up with fellow counsellors as well as enhancing my learning.
The counselling service provides an invaluable resource to local people particularly at a time of major cut backs and the lengthy waiting time to access other mental health supports. The recent expansion of the Fast Track project is a welcome addition complimenting the core service.


Tags: Counselling, Volunteering
26/11/2013 at 9:25 pm