Hello and my name is Elizabeth and I am a volunteer at Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton.
Since I have been at Rosewood, I have mainly observed Friday meetings to get a feel for the place and recently I have started attending Comms Group, on Mondays.
I have felt right at home from the start at Rosewood, due to other volunteers making me feel very welcome and part of the group.
I hope to be a Feedback Volunteer and there are some other volunteer roles that interest me. But also, I have been asked if I would like to write for this Involvement blog. So here I am with my first blog post and hopefully there will be more to come from me, or posts that I will write on behalf of other volunteers.
I have personal experience of mental health from an early age, due to my mum having a mental health disorder. I have also experienced depression and anxiety myself, over the years and on antidepressants.
After having plenty of counselling sessions and getting down to my route cause of how I am, I started to write my own personal blog on mental health and other topics. This personal blog has been (and still is) therapeutic for me, in times of difficulty.
Although my personal blog is not a year old, this blog is not the first one I write, as I have been a blogger for years before when writing a deaf blog. (Another blog that started off to be therapeutic for me.)
Although I have my own personal experiences of mental health, I wanted to be a volunteer at Rosewood to gain further understanding in mental health. I am also doing a home study course on mental health course and two other health care type courses to complete after.
My name’s Laura and I’m the latest edition to the Involvement, Experience and Volunteering Team. I’m a Volunteering Support Officer and I run the Rosewood Involvement Centre. The main part of my job is to help support volunteers in their roles throughout the Trust. I also run groups and meetings in the Rosewood Centre. One day a week, I’m based at the Involvement Centre at Duncan Macmillan House. This means I can get to know the volunteers based there and the two centres can stay well connected.
My previous job was working in an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service for another NHS Trust. I used to provide support and therapies to people with mild to moderate mental health problems. Before this I used to work in the Police as a Community Support Officer for a number of years and have also worked in admin for a charity and retail, so I have a bit of a varied employment history! I personally believe strongly in eliminating the stigma that surrounds mental health and promoting wellbeing.
I have personal volunteering experience with various charities and have worked alongside volunteers most of my career. The contribution they make is invaluable and I look forward to working alongside the volunteers in our Trust to help make a difference and improve services. I’m really grateful for the warm welcome I’ve had from the Team as well as the volunteers within both centres.
When I first arrived to Rosewood I was greeted straight away by Nigel, Rosewood Centre Manager who was very friendly and welcoming . He took the time to have a chat with me telling me lots of information which I found very interesting. He also told me quite a lot about himself and his own personal experiences. Nigel gave me a tour around the building including the music room for the resident band ‘The Rosewood Rockers‘ which I thought was a great idea!
The garden outside looked very nice from the hard work of the Rosewood Gardening Club.
Nigel introduced me to staff and members in the centre who made me very welcome. They involved me straight away letting me help out in the kitchen prepping food for the buffet.
I really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere sharing lots of conversations and jokes. After lunch we had a chat from Nigel about up and coming events. It sounded like something I’d like to be a part of with plenty of different opportunities.
It was great to hear positive feedback of members soon to be graduating from a Peer Support Course and seeing everybody else being so supportive to them. I really enjoyed my time at Rosewood and I am really looking forward to coming back.
Hello my name is Gordon. I was introduced to Rosewood Involvement Centre from the Let’s Talk Wellbeing service run by our Trust as they thought I had come as far as I could with counselling and needed something more in my life.
Before I joined Rosewood, my life revolved around my family, doing everything from getting my children up for school, housework and being there until they went to bed. I did next to nothing for myself apart from going to a Let’s Talk group for an hour each week.
After attending a Communications group at Rosewood plus their regular Friday centre meetings, I felt I had become a member of the ‘Rosewood Family’. Somewhere I could be myself. I was accepted for who I was for the first time in nearly 20 years.
There are numerous opportunities you can take part in as a volunteer. I have taken part in training courses which I enjoyed and gained valuable information to help me progress in my Recovery.
After a while I gained confidence and went to my first ‘Millbrook Live’ meeting which I found daunting at first but it was fascinating to hear patients views and opinions about their experiences on the ward and the way services can be changed through listening to patients.
As a direct result of being involved at Rosewood I am slowly becoming the person I was before my bout of depression where my state of mind was so dark that I only thought of self-ham and ways to end my life.
I am grateful and thankful that none of actions were fulfilled and I am now here to help others in similar situations.
I am a Trust staff member. My day job is Senior Project Manager. In my spare time I support the Trust by leading the ‘Check it Out’ Campaign. The campaign is a partnership with the local GMB Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey team. The campaigns main aim is to raise awareness of the effects of physical and mental health whilst supporting inclusion and involvement. One of the many benefits of this campaign is to help people on the road to recovery after being unwell.
I work with the Panthers team and set up visits to our health services during the ice hockey season so they can get some ‘hands on experience’ of the many services we offer. The Trust supports 10 games during the season and we take the opportunity to highlight a different service at each match. We provide a stand at the arena with information and staff are always available to answer questions.
The Campaign is a chance for service users and their families or carers and volunteers to attend an ice hockey game. I know from gathering feedback from our events that our service users and their families really do find the games exciting! Families can participate together socially and that’s a real bonus for some people who may not get the chance to do this regularly.
It is an immense pleasure to lead the campaign for the Trust and its so easy being such a huge Panthers fan myself!
Hello, my name is Mike. I’m a volunteer at Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton. I started attending two years ago, when I was caring for a close family member with depression.
As everyone who has been a carer will know, it can be a time to show people how much you love and care for them, but it can also have incredibly negative effects on your own well-being. The loss of the person you once knew, the fading away of your social life and free time, the increased stress, anxiety and isolation… all this can have alarming consequences for your own physical and emotional health.
That’s why it is essential that carers can have quality time for themselves, where they can be just like anyone else. Rosewood was just such a place for me. When I began attending, I was unsure what to expect. I was made to feel at home and it was not long before I was fully immersed in the world of Involvement.
Being able to see that there were other people just like me assuaged my sense of loneliness and isolation. Learning that there were others who suffered badly from mental health conditions and recovered to live a normal life gave me hope for the future. I began to attend every session I could.
Making friends and getting away from my caring role was not the only benefit of Involvement. I was able to access a number of training opportunities which greatly enriched my personal and professional development. This included Involvement Interview Training which consisted of a course learning how to conduct an interview. Once trained, I participated in interviews for potential Trust employees as part of a patient/carer panel. You can learn a lot to use for your own future experiences as an interviewee!
I was able to attend Training sessions to ensure best practice in the workplace such as safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, equality & diversity, manual handling and back care, deaf awareness, and food hygiene and safety.
I have been given the opportunity to tell my story of caring to a number of audiences, including Trust staff members. This is very important to me since you are in a position to advise staff on what works well and what could be done better. Any opportunity to help shape attitudes and practice is vital. After this, I was able to participate in the Care Programme Approach (CPA) training, which involved delivering a presentation.
Training played a part in finding a role I love where I can use my experience to help others. I began this role in August 2014. Around the same time, the person whom I cared for made a full recovery from their illness. Recovery is an on-going process, but there has been no relapse and our lives have returned to normal; full of health and happiness.
However, I know that this is not always the outcome; for many people with mental ill-health. It is something they have to face on a daily basis and often for the rest of their lives. Their well-being is no less important than mine. That is the reason why I still volunteer; advocating the role of Involvement in ensuring best practice within the Trust.
I stood for the role of Public Governor in the 2015 elections. To my surprise and gratitude, I was elected for three years! I’m looking forward to advocating my views, holding the leadership to account, and hopefully inspiring other people in my former position to see that, yes, things can get better. We must never stop working to better the lives of those with mental health issues, and those who care for them.
Hi my name is Jonathan and I am the Involvement Centre Manager in Nottingham. What does it mean to manage an Involvement Centre? Well the answer is varied and never the same!
My job is not boring, sometimes challenging and can be very rewarding. I often think of myself as having three bosses, my line manager, the Trust and all the volunteers that I work with and have a duty to make sure they are heard.
The reason I come into work is to improve and change services for people that receive them. Which I believe is the main reason everybody in the NHS comes into work. We (staff) just sometimes get a little pressured to deliver on targets that don’t always work for the person that is in front of you that day.
I hope the work we do within Involvement means that we can deliver on those targets without forgetting what is most important to those that receive treatment and care. The care part is really important; the NHS is a world leader at ‘treatment’ but sometimes we fall down on the ‘care’ part, and its’ then that people feel dehumanised and frustrated.
Let’s talk to each other, find out what we all would like. Be honest about what we can do, and completely honest about what we can’t do. Ask ourselves ‘would that feel ok if it was my Mum being cared for’?
Involvement gives us a chance to stand back and think about services in this way. We should always listen, but more importantly we should all be part of the solutions that we find.
That’s why I come to work – and not everyday is like that, but enough are.