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Article published on: Thursday, 25 May 2023

Volunteers Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution our volunteers make to Buckinghamshire Mind’s services and our communities.

We are so grateful to all our volunteers for the time, hard work, passion, energy and commitment. We simply could not deliver all that we do without our incredible volunteers. Thank you.
We’d also like to this opportunity to share Terry’s story. Terry joined our Friends in Need (FiN) peer support groups as a member and has gone on to become an invaluable member of the team as a volunteer.

I had been struggling with anxiety and low self esteem, leading into depression, for a number of years. I undertook one to-one counselling, then CBT. I had seen leaflets of Friends in Need but not made enquiries.

One day, three years ago, I decided I would make contact and follow it through. I met the co-ordinator for my area, who gave me a full rundown of FiN, including; the variety of activities available, the benefits of being part of an active group and confidentiality. I joined and I enjoyed the activities I got involved in.

Some six months later, I became a volunteer for FiN.  New opportunities opened up for me and I was supported to investigate some new group ideas. I found myself leading those groups.

My co-ordinator is wonderful, giving away her leadership and allowing me to lead others. However, like all quality leaders of groups, she is in total control and will give me direction when needed. She is amazingly supportive. I’ve been able to introduce ideas and find suitable space to run our various sessions. I was actually asked by the organisation who we hire space from to speak about FiN to their group and how their space enables us to help those in need.

Older man smiling

Reflecting on the difference FiN has made in my life is easy. On a day-to-day basis I am excited by the opportunity I have been given to lead and encourage, being sensitive to individual needs and enable changes to people’s lives.

I am a ‘people person’ and when I see those belonging to FiN believing in themselves, stepping out and moving forward, I get so excited and, as I so often say, ‘when you give you receive back.’  Friends In Need has helped me to realise my worth and encouraged me to encourage and build others up.

Depression, anxiety, lack of self confidence is an isolating state to be in. I believe doing what I’m doing is giving members confidence, belief  in themselves and recognition that they’re worthy individuals. It’s not an overnight change, but one step at a time, one brick on top of another. Through this, my confidence and self-worth have been growing. A better understanding of myself has been brought about by this amazing organisation under the banner Bucks Mind.

Thank you Friends In Need, certainly a friend of mine.

Thank you so much Terry, for your amazing contribution to Buckinghamshire Mind!
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