View Full Version : Volunteering ...

04-06-05, 18:29
One of this sites main objectives is to help people improve and progress through their panic/anxiety disorders so that you either can maintain your usual life or can get back to functioning in society and eventually back to work (be that home based or going out to work)

We do not encourage simply sitting on your laurels once you are well on the recovery journey as it will not aid your progress and well being.

Often when you have been deeply scared by anxiety/panic or depression and been off sick for a period of time or indeed lost your job through this, it can be an extremely difficult decision and transition period back to meeting new people and a new job.

Thus we often suggest some sort of volunteering as a stepped return, meeting your needs of getting out, feeling useful and worthwhile, whilst increasing confidence and self esteem as well as helping the communities around us..

This week is National Volunteer week and I urge everyone who is recovering with a few hours on their hands to take a look at these websites to see if you can find something that might suit your skills and meet your current needs, that will also help someone else for a few hours .

There are a huge variety of roles available ..

Gone are the days when volunteering only meant charity shops and soup kitchens - now you can give your time to help others while indulging an hobby, getting skills for an exciting new job or even reacting to emergency situations.

Toad warden help toads cross the road when they migrate for the annual breeding season

Tandem bike rider - be the front rider on a tandem bike so blind people can enjoy cycling

Pet foster carer look after pets when elderly owners go into hospital

Cheerleader cheerlead for people taking part in fundraising events

Festival volunteer work on a charity stall at a music festival - and get a free ticket

Historic ship crew operate historic ships for public excursions

Neighbour dispute mediator work with communities to resolve local clashes

Lifeboat crew member go out on emergency rescues as well as giving training sessions on using boats

Radio producer oversee programmes and record material for community radio station

Death row pen pal befriend people facing the death penalty in the U.S.

Skin camouflage instructor - teach individuals with visible skin conditions to apply specialist coverage creams to regain confidence

Beach watcher manage beach cleans and undertake beach surveys

Sound archivist make tape recordings of people associated with National Trust properties like farm tenants

Emergency relief worker support rescue workers and evacuees in the UK with refreshments and rest centres

Support worker for prisoners' families attend court and offer support to families and friends at point of sentencing

Complimentary therapist provide acupuncture, massage and reflexology for new parents under pressure

Music sourcer establish contacts in the music field for donations and price music for sale at charity shops

Emergency cartographer produce maps in the wake of natural disasters for relief workers

Kids theatre volunteer - work with children to put together plays and musical productions

Resuscitation trainer teach basic life support skills in community centres and schools

Green gym environmental volunteer - get fit through conservation activities like planting hedges or improving footpaths

You can find the main website at


04-06-05, 18:38
Hi Meg,

What a wondeful suggestion! I also found volunteering when I was at my worst to be so helpful...got me out of the house, made me feel useful, and gave me a sense of perspective (I was volunteering in teh Downtown Eastside here in Vancouver which is an area plagued by drug use and poverty).

I've been thinking lately that the skills and knowledge that I have accumulated through my recovery might be useful to other anxiety sufferers,and I've been considering volunteering at a Mental Healhth facility. I'm wondering what you think about this, and how could I get involved??


04-06-05, 19:10
ive signed up!

not sure what i'm going to be doing yet but hopefully something worthwhile.
I have picked either mental health support, alzheimers centre helpline (my dad had it) or admin for an african aid agency!

thanks for the reminder and link meg.

04-06-05, 19:13
Great idea - will have to get involved!! :D

"Life is too important to take seriously" Corky Siegal

04-06-05, 20:33

What a super post - I will look into what's available locally as I would love to return to work outside the home.

Thank you


"Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?" said Piglet.
"Supposing it didn't," said Pooh after careful thought.

04-06-05, 23:17

Yes , I'm sure your skills amd knowledge will be very helpful to others.

Just be sure you're not still too sensitive to the power of suggestion.

Volunteering in mental health you will be exposed to people who may have been seriously disturbed and have awful stories to tell - it may be a bit close to home and beware of drawing comparisons and thinking ' hw close was I to being like that '

If you're beyind that now - then go for it. There is no better experience than the got the Tshirt sort.


Watch your thoughts, they become your words...
Watch your words, they become your actions... Watch your actions, they become your habits... Watch your habits, they become your character... Watch your character, it becomes your destiny...

04-06-05, 23:38
I have just started working behind the scenes in a local charity shop - still to see how it will pan out, but I really want to get to doing a job where I can be of direct help to people.

I suppose that's Stage 2 but the great thing about this shop job is that I'm really an extra pair of hands so if I feel crap one week I can phone in and the shop won't suffer and I won't feel guilty!

Great post Meg!


Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself.--Alice Walker

05-06-05, 08:26
I so want to do this but I don't know when it will be the right time for me. I don't want to make myself feel worse by being unable to do it or feel guilty as Ray has referred to.

Can depression and a need for the toilet be accommodated!?

"Your truth is better for you than someone else's. Just get to know what it is, so you can finally own it, and speak it."

05-06-05, 10:56

Its worth seeing what is available near you and picking something that looks like it will have facilities and not be too time crucial. Then discuss with the volunteer coordinator your concerns so they can be aware and accomodating.


Watch your thoughts, they become your words...
Watch your words, they become your actions... Watch your actions, they become your habits... Watch your habits, they become your character... Watch your character, it becomes your destiny...

05-06-05, 14:27
It is a great way to get to doing 'normal' things.
I was doing work for SSAFA. An serving and ex service charity that do good work for armed personnel.
Was working in the office at one time answering phones, filing etc.
Then was treasurer for my area for a while. Have taken time out as it can overtake your life if you aren't careful.
Now I have to wait and see if I take it up again whilst living in Wales! Not alot of time on my hands at moment

with good wishes


07-06-05, 15:22
Hi Meg,

Thanks for the reply...point well taken!!! I guess I feel a little invincible at the moment, but should rein myself in and take it easy!! Maybe I'll start easy, see if I can help out in the office for a while till I KNOW I'm ready.


12-10-05, 18:08
Another initiative for those of you who are starting to do better day to day but are not quite ready for back -to -work activities at present.



Your anxiety is the human representation of the pictures that you paint using your many vivid colours of revolving and reoccurring thoughts.
How big is your gallery ?

12-10-05, 19:05
I actually have a meeting tomorrow planned with my local centre.

I'm just gonna commit to even 2 hours a week and i am still in the pits of depression and anxiety.

First Anxiety...then panic attacks...now GAD and depression...now working on a better future!