Paul, former volunteer, now Feedback and Outcomes Lead, Commissioning and Quality Assurance Team

PaulWhat made you consider volunteering with CNTW?
I was coming out of mental health treatment after a long time (15 years) and studying. I wanted to give something back while checking my resilience and ability to be a successful part of a team.

How easy was it to find out about volunteering and how did you find the process, training and support?
The team were really welcoming to me and supported me from the moment I said I was interested. I found training to be really useful and found the person-centred approach to be supportive.
Did you volunteer with forethought of working for the Trust?
No, I was planning to work in the heritage sector but found my past mental health difficulties to be stigmatising. I found the Trust to be the opposite, they recognised my strengths and people recommended I apply for a Trust job. The rest, as they say, is history.

Is there any particular volunteer memories you would like to share?
I have lots of fond memories. I remember getting a game of corridor ten pin going in the dementia day service and the consultant joining in, I think the patients really got a lot from that. I also remember supporting a man who was keen to leave as he was worried about his wife. I spent 2 hours talking to him about his childhood in wartime and by the time I left it was time for him to go and he hadn’t been anxious all of the time we spoke.

Would you recommend volunteering within CNTW to any other potential future employees?
Yes, I now volunteer outside of the Trust and believe it’s such worthwhile work.