Abbey’s mentor journey

Bazaar Mindmarket | Published: 8th June 2021

Initially, I discovered Open Door through my university volunteering page. The page said they were looking for people to volunteer in delivering a CBT and mindfulness programme and being a Psychology student that was exactly what I was looking for, so I applied! All the correspondence was really friendly and quick, and upon looking more into what Open Door do, I fell in love with the culture and background behind the charity.

Getting support for your mental health should be as normal as getting a cup of coffee, and at Open Door that is exactly what you can do. With the focus not being solely on wellbeing but also just everyday activities and events, it illustrates how mental health care can and should be a normal part of everyday life for many people. It is an environment that fosters growth not only with their members but volunteers and staff alike. Being a part of such a wonderful charity that encompasses everything I believe in and seeing the outcomes and comments people make after going through our programmes really shows to me that something must be going right.

Throughout my few months at Open Door, I have been supported the whole way. The project leads are always available if you have any queries or concerns and are extremely helpful and show they care about their volunteers. Everyone I have spoken to, staff or volunteers have been lovely, and the conversations we have shown how mental health support and wellbeing is at the forefront of beliefs in Open Door Charity. Not only that but the continuous commitment to provide training and updates for volunteers, allowing me to build on skills such as emotional resilience and active listening which I can put straight back into my sessions with my members.

Before joining Open Door, I did not know actually how rewarding volunteering could be, especially when it becomes part of your weekly routine. Throughout my volunteer experience, I have felt part of a fantastic community that actually cares about my wellbeing and development, a community that wants to see me grow and develop skills to take with me to other opportunities or paid work.

The skills I have developed are irreplaceable, something that I probably would not have even developed during paid work and have provided me with invaluable connections and opportunities which have helped me access other opportunities. Yes, it does look good on my CV, but the fact I have been able to hopefully make a difference in people lives by providing the services available at Open Door means more to me than anything else.

I would recommend volunteering to anyone, it is the most rewarding experience, and it has even improved my mental health and wellbeing. I have learnt so much, and every day I volunteer I walk away in an amazing mood, truly fulfilled and happy I started my volunteering journey at Open Door Charity.

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