Mind BLMK offers a range of services aimed at meeting individual needs and promoting mental health recovery, wellbeing and independence. Volunteers are vital to the quality and quantity of Mind BLMK’s services. Without the commitment and skills of dedicated volunteers, their services would be severely reduced.
Wendy Bartlett is a volunteer with MIND and shares with us why she enjoys it and what’s involved…
“I started volunteering for Mind BLMK to enhance my practical skills for my degree in Psychology, Counselling and Therapies. Having had a personal insight into mental health, I have found Mentoring has taught me so much more than just the solution focused support I provide with my Mentee.
I spend 2 hours a week with the mentee. We begin by setting a personal goal of their choice; for example to join a club, go back into education or even just gain the confidence to walk into a new situation. I help them to break their goal down into more achievable ‘bite-sized’ goals and support them to achieve this through weekly meet ups in a familiar environment for up to 12 weeks.
My role is to support the mentee to achieve their goal or goals and by doing so improve their day to day wellbeing. At the end of that time, they have often achieved that goal and sometimes others along the way which means they have been successful in achieving a goal and gaining a new level of confidence on their journey. After the 12 weeks, I can work with another person or take a break if I have other commitments. This flexible approach works well for me.
To be a successful mentor it is important to be encouraging and non judgemental. The training that is provided is important to maintain consistent support. If I feel unsure about something or feel my mentee may need more robust support I am able to handover to my Mentor Facilitator.
I have found mentoring has given me a better understanding of mental health and wellbeing and have discovered a great sense of accomplishment in being able to make a real difference to my mentee’s life. It has been so satisfying to watch the person flourish and move forward with their lives, gaining a more positive outlook about their future.”