6th May 2015
Mind in West Cumbria recieved £7,000 from the NMP Community Fund in 2013 to develop a pilot volunteer mentor scheme.
The scheme trains current Mind volunteers working in Allerdale to become mentors to other members of Mind, other volunteers and service users.
The new mentor volunteers have supported other members to; lead discussions in drop-ins about a particular interest, guide other members on a walk, show others how to cook a particular meal, plan and organise a Christmas meal and support another member to write a letter.
Kerry Manson, Drop-In Coordinator at Mind in West Cumbria said: “We have seen members become a lot more confident about their own skills and strengths and this gives them a direction for the future.
“They are also aware of each other’s qualities and strengths and will now approach each other if they need help.”
Feeback from Mind in West Cumbria volunteers and members:
“I am a volunteer for Mind in West Cumbria; I initially started as a member and thoroughly enjoyed attending drop-in sessions. I am good at writing letters and when I shared this skill, the Volunteers and staff offered me a lot of encouragement and support over a long period of time. I then felt confident to help other members with writing. I am now a volunteer and am receiving mentor training in May 2015. The change in my confidence and self-esteem compared to when I first started has increased greatly.”
“Mind for me is a release; I came to mind after having a nervous breakdown and I felt very isolated. I quickly found I could share good times and bad times and not fell like someone was a judging me. My confidence has grown since I joined mind I have met a lovely bunch of people and would be lost without them.
“Mind has taught me that mental health isn’t a swear word and I have gone from not being able to look after myself to helping others. People are there for help and advice, it’s a needed service.”