Sitting-In Volunteer: Sarah's Story
Sarah started volunteering with n-compass in April 2019, which came about as part of a very personal journey of self development. She has been receiving support from Lancashire Women since February 2018 for mental health and anxiety issues. As part of that support, she completed a Mind-fit course; this involved learning how to deal with anxiety, providing her with a series of coping strategies.
Following on from the success of this, and with her confidence growing, Sarah then felt able to enrol on the Work-fit women course, as well as providing employability skills. This also presented her with opportunities to apply for volunteer roles to enhance her work portfolio and develop her work skills.
Being a people person, Sarah felt that the sitting in service provided by n-compass would be the perfect match for her. She felt apprehensive at first but, after meeting with an n-compass worker, she immediately felt she would be supported which put her at ease. She was quickly matched with Bernadette and Tom, she felt an instant connection with them both, confidently engaging with them in the introductory meeting. Bernadette also felt comfortable with Sarah and trusted her right away.
The sitting-in service allows Bernadette to do her shopping without feeling rushed or having to take Tom with her. Having more time to do the shopping means she is able to do more meal planning and get prescriptions without forgetting something or worrying about Tom, and that has proved invaluable.
Sarah sits with Tom in the garden, watches TV, or sometimes they just have a chat but, importantly, he looks forward to the weekly visit. Likewise, if Bernadette comes home early she will have a coffee and a chat with Sarah, providing her with a confidant.
Sarah looks forward to visiting, and has said that she now feels like part of the family unity. It’s given her a sense of purpose and structure and, as a result, she’s getting her confidence back. Her anxiety levels have fallen and she now bounces back quicker if she does hit a low point.
She has also been involved with afternoon tea on volunteers’ week and was invited to attend the n-compass quarterly staff briefing at Preston North End, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Sarah summed up the sitting-in service from a volunteer’s point of view in two words: “just brilliant”.
If you'd like to see our volunteering opportunities, go to The Volunteer Hub.
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