01 June 2020

Come and join us to support people with mental health conditions

Volunteers Week

Helping others through volunteering can be very rewarding and hugely beneficial to both the individual and the people they work alongside to support.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, which provides inpatient and community mental health services across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, is marking Volunteers Week (Monday 1st - Sunday 7th June) by celebrating the vital role our volunteers play in supporting our staff and patients.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Trust is recruiting volunteers to help with a number of key roles including basic administrative work, cleaning and co-ordinating activities to support patients with mental health conditions.

Julie Kerry, Director of Nursing at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, said: "We want to say a huge thank you to all our existing volunteers who play a vital role in supporting the work we do and we value the role they play in supporting our patients and staff to deliver our services. Volunteering can be hugely rewarding. It can help people build confidence and self-esteem, as well as providing the opportunity to meet others.  We know that people are really keen to provide help to others during this challenging time and joining us at this time could provide an opportunity to play a part in supporting vulnerable people as they begin their journey towards recovery.  If you think you could help us during this time, please get in touch."

As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to have a positive impact on the lives of those who volunteer, assisting volunteers in gaining new skills and boosting self-esteem. There are many voluntary organisations in the UK that rely on volunteers to help others.

Liam is a volunteer with AWP's Recovery Through Sport programme. The weekly football sessions are run by AWP's Early Intervention Team in South Gloucestershire and were set up to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of people with mental health conditions.

Liam said: "I chose to volunteer with AWP's Recovery Through Sport programme as it presented a brilliant opportunity for myself coming out of university to work in mental health, as well as get some valuable coaching experience. In terms of positive experiences I have had with the group, there are countless to choose from. I frequently cite it as being the best part of my week.

"My most positive experience has been watching the group and particular individuals flourish both personally and in their football ability. I have gained a lot volunteering for AWP including how to communicate with service users, coaching those of different abilities and I have also improved my leading and organisation skills significantly. Not only have I gained friendships and valuable experiences but have also had faith and commitment instilled in myself, as AWP has aided in my own personal development in taking coaching courses for which I am extremely grateful."

To find out more about volunteering click here or to register your interest in becoming a volunteer for the Trust please email  awp.volunteering@nhs.net 

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