By Evie Weeks
I started volunteering in the summer holidays and so far, it's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I’ve attended 4 training days from 9-5. I volunteer for 2 different projects and I've been very productive in both. I think it's amazing to have a group of like minded people to talk to. After I quit my rugby team, I left a family that had grown in strength and numbers. It was a very sad time until I started volunteering and found what I had been missing. I also never realised how much effort Newport Mind puts into their projects, all to help the communities around the Newport and Gwent area.
Newport Mind is a non profit mental health organisation based in South Wales. This is a quote from their website ‘We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We’re here for you. Today. Now’. They have many projects within projects so it's best to just get stuck in because lots of amazing opportunities are just around the corner. Newport Mind’s are on a mission to raise awareness and promote an understanding of mental health.
The project I started with was an out of the blue lifesaver. I attended an initial meeting in Bassaleg meeting the project leader. However, along the way, after all the training, we lost around three quarters of the people trained. The project is still a bit delayed, we’ve got our spirits up and are pushing through the end of recruitment season. Personally, I wish we could have lots of people join the project, helping out, supporting an important cause such as educating young people in primary schools across Newport. The project is funded by Children in Need and we are having a trip to the BBC offices in Cardiff very soon. This isn't just an amazing extra curricular to have on your CV, it's a chance to meet new people, talk to young people on the projects and work alongside people you would have never known.
After the Children in Need project was put on a short hold, I signed up for the Wellbeing Ambassador training. I then told my best friend about the training and she had always wanted to volunteer, we went to the training and everything went smoothly. We learnt about safeguarding, confidentiality, signposting and how to conduct a conversation with a calm and open vibe.
Volunteering is something nice to contribute to, to attend and to experience. If you’re not a people person then in time you’ll feel comfortable. If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, we welcome you, we welcome anyone to enquire about volunteering opportunities as at the end of the day we are all there for the same reason, to help people as soon as they want help and to educate the next generation of brilliant minds.