Diane, former volunteer, now a CNTW Chaplain

DianeWhat made you consider volunteering with CNTW?
I started studying for a Theology degree later in life with a view to changing my career. I set off with the goal of going into teaching children with special needs. But as part of one of my modules I had to arrange a placement in a Chaplaincy Department. One of the options was mental health chaplaincy which appealed to me. I was lucky enough to secure a placement and spent 21 hours with a chaplain across services at St George’s Park and Northgate. I loved it so much that I wanted to volunteer once a month to support the Chaplaincy service on a Saturday morning alongside my studies.

How easy was it to find out about volunteering and how did you find the process, training and support?
Because I had spent that time on placement, I became aware of volunteers who supported Chaplaincy. The Chaplaincy Department put me in touch with Voluntary Services and the process was seamless. The communication was great and the team guided me through it all very supportively. They even came up to St George’s Park to complete the training with me.

Did you volunteer with the forethought of working for the Trust?
No, this was never really in any of my thoughts at the outset.

As you can probably imagine, every Saturday at the St George’s service would be different but there were some special moments when patients would share their stories which was such an inspiration.

Is there any particular volunteer memories you would like to share?
Being invited to special events arranged by Voluntary Services. Although with working and studying it was always difficult to get to them, but I did appreciate the lovely invites I received.

I do recall making it to the commissioning of two Chaplains at St George’s Park, one of whom I work with now. It was good to be part of that celebration. We had refreshments and a catch up afterwards with the Chaplaincy team and other volunteers.

Would you recommend volunteering within CNTW to any other potential future employees?
Definitely! It gives you very good insight and experience of what working in CNTW is like. The people are very supportive and encouraging. You never know what doors will be opened and new possibilities emerge!