A network for anyone with an interest in
adult education and mental health

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Volunteers in Blackpool

Blackpool now has a small team of 5 volunteers. They all become involved in the MHFE pilot as learners but have shown exceptional commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to the project during and after their courses.

They are extremely skilled individuals who are offering to support the project in a variety of ways.  One volunteer has attended a number of marketing and networking events and had found a new level of confidence in his public speaking. Initially he was asked to attend a strategy event with the project co-ordinator to offer a learner view. Once he overcame his initial nerves and found his voice he was able to articulate just how beneficial he found the courses. He stole the show with the audience hanging on his every word.  People approached us at the end of the event asking if they could borrow him for future events!  After the event I spoke with this volunteer who said that he had initially been apprehensive about attending the event but was so glad he did as he felt it was a turning point in building his self-confidence and re-establishing his self-esteem. Now he asks to attend public events so that he can gain a better understanding of how services work and so he can help raise the profile of the benefits of attending the wellbeing courses.

Another volunteer has started supporting the tutor and other learners in craft lessons. After attending the last rag rug course and through discussions during the sessions, showing an aptitude to create and complete crafts it became apparent that she had a lot to offer. It took a while for her to feel comfortable in the lessons due to her own mental health needs, but once she gained some confidence and reassurance she was soon sharing some of her creative knowledge with other learners. Another great asset for the project is providing an enhanced learner experience through planning volunteer led sessions which both empowers the volunteer and current learners to see how people have progressed through the project.

Our other volunteers support the project by championing our courses and acting as peer mentors.

We are grateful to all the volunteer champions who will be rewarded from the service by putting them through an accreditation in volunteering.