I have been volunteering at the Women’s Centre for about one year to start a new, more positive chapter in my life. Initially I was getting to know the Centre and all the different services and support offered when I was tasked with conducting welcome meetings alongside other volunteers under close guidance by our volunteer coordinator. During the meetings we showed the new service users the building. Furthermore we signposted the women to the help they needed at this moment and to make them aware of other services they could find at the Centre. On the days when there were no meetings scheduled we helped out with a range of things, like sorting donations, small renovations on the beautiful building, and doing paperwork. At the current time I am keeping track of volunteer hours, help out with events, I have organised a fundraiser, and occasionally do paperwork for the Centre. Every day at the Centre is different, and I am under the impression that this keeps my time here productive and enjoyable.
Parts of my work outside the Women’s Centre is based abroad, and therefore often remote and at unconventional hours. I am also currently working towards being qualified in England to be better able support survivors in Nottingham. I try to come to the Centre for at least two afternoons a week and since then I feel more grounded because I have a regular schedule; and that also helped me overcome to occasional feeling of isolation. I noticed that I started being less anxious about my performance and failing other people’s expectations, and that I have been a little less apologetic when things don’t go to plan to enable me to be more proactive to put things right. Volunteering at the Centre has given me the chance to feel more confident in my social skills and be a little bit more positive and grateful for the opportunities I had along the way. In addition, my time at the Centre has taught me to be occasionally kinder to myself when looking back at the personal setbacks that brought me here. Volunteering has become a worthwhile part of my routine that makes this chapter of my life in Nottingham a wee bit more colourful.