Reflections on the past few months volunteering for Sheffield Mind during the pandemic.

During my first month volunteering for Sheffield Mind, I immediately felt welcomed into the charity, as I was invited to attend online Zoom meetings with Terence, Julia and Haeran (the Anger Management team). Before these meetings, I was quite apprehensive about my placement being able to still go ahead due to current situation, however I am very grateful for how Sheffield Mind has been able to adapt to the situation and still provide me with this opportunity. My first involvement through Zoom meetings entailed helping develop the Anger Management course to transition online. I learnt through this that Sheffield Mind clearly centers their work around clients, as to change a 12-week in house course to a 6-week online course took a lot of time and consideration.

 Once the course had been amended, individuals were assessed to ensure they were eligible for the course, and to ensure the course was right for them. I was quite overwhelmed at first, as to how involved I was in this process, however I felt very trusted with this responsibility, which increased my confidence in myself. I assessed clients on a one to one basis and gained an insight into their current situation, which I then wrote up in a report. Once again, the opportunities provided here are valuable to me – I did not expect to have gained such experience working with vulnerable clients so early on in my placement. From my second month at Sheffield Mind I learnt that my placement was very hands on, and I was treated like any other staff member.

 The team I have been working with have been very supportive and want to give me the best experience they can at Sheffield Mind, which I am very grateful for. So far, it has been interesting to be able to adapt and work alongside the different working styles of my team. I have felt my confidence build throughout my placement already and I am looking forward to gaining more experience and skills through working with Sheffield Mind. Even though I am volunteering, my work and effort does not go unnoticed, which motivates me to keep trying my hardest.

Once again, I would like to thank Sheffield Mind for providing me with such a valuable placement. I would recommend to any other student, or individual, to take the opportunity to volunteer at Sheffield Mind. The experiences built here are very valuable and unlikely to be received at many other placements.

Chloe. October 2020.