Volunteering – What does it mean to you?

I am one of the many volunteers we have at Leeds Mind.  I am Chair of the Board of Trustees – all of the Trustees are also volunteers.  Without the large number of volunteers we have working alongside the team at Leeds Mind, we wouldn’t be able to provide the various services to our numerous clients.  So Volunteers Week provides an opportunity for us to ‘officially’ say thank you to this fantastic group of people – a very big ‘thank you’ on behalf of the Board!

Volunteering means many things to different people.  For me volunteering at Leeds Mind gives me the opportunity to use my skills to give something back by supporting an organisation that champions a cause that is very meaningful to me.  I, and members of my close family, have experienced mental health difficulties, so I appreciate how this can impact the lives of individuals and their loved ones.

I have been volunteering in various ways for all of my adult life – including as the fixtures secretary for my netball club (that was a while back!), a member of my son’s school parent teachers association, as a school parent governor and, of course, more recently with Leeds Mind.  For me the role I volunteer in needs to be one where I am able to use my experience to make a contribution that makes a difference, however small.

I find that volunteering in this way provides me with ‘something for me’ away from the day to day of both work and family life.  This sense of purpose, which is driven by what I want to do rather than what I need to do, contributes greatly to my wellbeing (even when I have a stack of Board meeting papers to read and digest!).

Big thanks to Linda for contributing to the blog for Volunteers’ Week 2020. What does volunteering for Leeds Mind mean to you? Get in touch to share your experience: info@leedsmind.org.uk