I had heard about the organisation in my health and social care course, and when I heard they needed volunteers to do their satisfaction survey, I jumped at the opportunity.
Before I started at Grove house, I had little knowledge on mental illness and health conditions. Also I had never worked in mental health, or had much experience in health and social care, but was fixed on becoming a mental health nurse and making a difference to people’s lives.
I initially contacted Mac McKechnie on a contact my tutor had given me and he contacted me straight back, to arrange suitable interview, viewing of grove house and eventually after all the legal documents and training. I was a team member of St.Annes, and started at the Grove House centre in Wakefield. The staff where welcoming, approachable and kind. I was assigned a mentor who I could go to if I had any problems and felt like a member of the team from the onset. I have never met a nicer bunch of people who would genuinely do anything to help me and my course, providing PowerPoints for me to use on my assignments such as safeguarding/ information governance and providing guidance when I had questions to ask about practical skills.
St.Annes also allow for massive training opportunities such as PBS training, NVQ type courses in such fields as mental health awareness and dignity workshops, which not only help your career and education, they also help you grow from experience. It has helped me understand different things such as care plans, recovery star and terminology which I didn’t know before. It has also made more confident as a person, due to the confidence building staff team and from training workshops ect…
The nicest and most rewarding thing about the role so far has been meeting the clients, they are simply lovely. It has been nice to apply practical skills such as communication and dealing with complex needs, as every client is different and should be respected as such. Which is one value St.Annes defiantly upholds!
The high points of my volunteering experience so far has defiantly been building trust and relationships with clients. Being able to have a sense of humour, laugh and a joke and then other times being able to listen to people when they are in times of crisis. Is the most rewarding thing, I have ever done and will ever do. I won’t sit here and say it is easy, and that at times it isn’t emotionally draining. But it’s the best decision I’ve made for my career and future, and if you want to have support, excellent care and to be part of a team-St.Annes could be the way forward for you. It has opened the door to me becoming one step closer to my dreams, and I cant thank the team enough for their support, understanding and general warmth towards me.