Volunteer Stories

Leah has been volunteering at Bipolar Scotland for the last six months and has become a vital part of the team. We were delighted to talk to Leah about what motivates her to volunteer, what her role involves and what she gets out of volunteering.

What made you decide to start volunteering?

When I started volunteering, my main goals were to feel like I was doing some good, but also to refresh my CV and get some new references as I was trying to change career. Volunteering with Bipolar Scotland seemed a great fit because of my own bipolar diagnosis, having been a member a while ago I knew a bit about the organisation already and it seemed like a great charity to get involved with.

Can you tell us about your volunteer role with Bipolar Scotland and how long you've been doing it for?

I've been a volunteer fundraiser for about six months now. The pandemic has put a stop to a lot of the aspects of fundraising that I'm really looking forward to getting into soon – going to fresher's fairs and getting to meet people – so mostly I've been trying to research fundraising opportunities and places where we might be able to raise awareness of bipolar and what our organisation does.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love the sense of community and how lovely everyone is! Because we're a small team it's nice to feel like a part of the group even just when I was only volunteering. I now work for Bipolar Scotland as a Peer Support Worker as well as a volunteer and I couldn't be happier with the way I fit into the organisation.

What have you learned about yourself during your time volunteering with Bipolar Scotland?

I've learned that doing something worthwhile with my time whether it's helping people, raising awareness, or fundraising, can make a huge improvement to my own mental well-being. It's really nice to know that I'm both gaining the new skills and experience but also having a positive impact on the work Bipolar Scotland do for people living with bipolar.

What do you think you have gained personally from volunteering?

I recently got a paid job as a Peer Support Worker with Bipolar Scotland, with our new service that should be up and running in the summer for people who have been recently diagnosed. Already being a part of the organisation through volunteering was so helpful, as I already knew that I would love working with them, my experience was more relevant and up-to-date, and I already knew quite a bit about the organisation. Being even more involved with helping people through peer working is so exciting and I'm looking forward to the new service opening up.

Is there anything you would like to say to someone who is thinking about volunteering?

Do it! If you have the time to spare, it's definitely worthwhile having a look at what roles there are available and seeing if there's one that inspires you. Being a volunteer can open up so many doors and it feels amazing to know you're a part of such a great community.

If you would like to volunteer and support people living with bipolar in Scotland, check out our volunteering page to see what roles we are currently recruiting for.

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