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Volunteering and Mental Health

A Shelter Scotland volunteer sits at a desk with a client and goes through some papers with her
Shelter Scotland
Written by Shelter Scotland

My journey with Shelter Scotland began during the summer of 2019 when I volunteered in the Dundee shop. Being off University for so many weeks, I wanted to throw myself into something that would keep me busy, but also something worthwhile. I loved every minute of it and learnt so much.

After a couple of months, the time came for me to return to Edinburgh to begin my 3rd year at Uni and after researching more on the charity, I wanted to continue volunteering with Shelter Scotland and was given the opportunity to attend Hub Support training.

Since training ended, I have been attending the Hub in Edinburgh every week during the drop in session, sitting in meetings with clients, taking notes and typing the notes up to be sent to the client. I’ve also supported on reception, greeting clients and guests as they enter and leave the Hub. My experience at the Hub has been great. The place has a nice feel to it as soon as you walk in and all colleagues seem lovely. It feels great to be part of a team who clearly do so much to help others. This was my main reason for choosing Shelter Scotland. To be given the opportunity to give back a little and to help others.

Since being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder 5 years ago myself, my eyes have been opened even more to how much suffering there actually is out there and to sadly, how little support some people have. Homelessness and housing instability can be huge determinants of mental health and other disadvantages in life, and the realisation that these issues can effect any of us at any stage in our lives made me want to make it one of my aims in life to help others in any way I possibly can. This topic also relates to my degree which I currently study at Heriot Watt University and discrimination against mental health issues is my chosen topic for my dissertation which I will be doing next year. I feel that what I do at Shelter Scotland can really help me with this.

As well as helping my confidence grow and giving me a great sense of reward, volunteering with Shelter Scotland will also give me some of the experience which I will need for when I finish my degree and go out into the working world. I would recommend it to anyone.

This blog was written by one of our volunteers. If you wish to find out more about volunteering at Shelter Scotland check out our website shelterscotland.org/volunteer