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Progression Through Volunteering

I just thought I'd write a short blog about my experiences as a BlueSky Derby peer volunteer on the research project. I first joined BlueSky as a research volunteer taking part in courses on resiliance and strength spotting, this was incredibly interesting and I was aware of opportunities to train as a peer support worker/volunteer for the project which I underwent. Following this training I have helped to deliver a confidence building course for men using music and drama during which it was possible to see men who started the course feeling very anxious and inhibited slowly develop the courage to allow their personalities to shine and express themselves in new ways.

I have benefitted from seeing the positive changes community learning has had on myself and others who have been involved with the project. Moreover, the project has enabled me to gain skills, experience and knowledge that would have been impossible for me to have achieved elsewhere as I have had access to unique personal development training as well as supported in applying and studying for a level 4 teaching qualification, which is something I never dreamt could be possible.

I have volunteered for about 18 months now and have been given opportunities to present to large groups of people about the benefits of the project and have been given leadership opportunities in leading the promotional afternoon drop in's that we hold once a month. This project has been incredibly empowering for me and has given to me what I believe is most valuable and that is a network of fantastic, trustworthy and genuinely caring, compassionate people who have helped me in ways they may never fully appreciate and for that and all of the above I am immensly thankful. 


Thank you for your contribution. Your unique blend of experiences, skills and compassion have been a solid contribution to the research and to community learning.

karen.king's picture

The continued insight and commitment from our Blue Sky Volunteers has truly astounded me leading on  this project.  Our community learning programmes on offer are enriched with volunteers input. 

'Progression' and 'destination' has never been so exciting to be a part of before in further education!

Looking forward to the journey and telling our story at the end of the Project.