Sarah is one of Light’s one-to-one peer supporters – she provides individual support to those who aren’t able to get to groups, or who are feeling particularly vulnerable. She is steadfastly reliable, compassionate and has so much support and shared experience to offer. Here she tells us more about her volunteering story…
When did you start volunteering with Light and what do you do in your volunteer role? I got in touch with Light last summer after seeing a request for volunteers on Facebook. I’d wanted to volunteer for a while but was too nervous to get in touch, doubting whether I’d be able to do it. After a glass of wine one evening I sent an email! I started volunteering as a peer mentor in September, after my initial training. My role involves me meeting one to one with a Mum and chatting with them about their experiences. We usually meet once a week in a café, sometimes with their baby sometimes without and they get the opportunity to talk to someone who has experienced post natal depression too.
Why did you want to volunteer for Light? I experienced post natal depression with both my children and had made use of Light when I was poorly. I really wanted to be able to use my own experience to support others. My youngest is now 8 years old so it seemed like the right time to volunteer as my life is quite different now. Having post natal depression was awful and if sharing my experience could help someone else then some good would have come of it.
How do you think your own experiences help to support others? I think for the people I have supported, it really helps to know that you’ve had similar experiences and can relate to what they’re telling you about their experience. I think I’m able to be non-judgemental which helps them too.
What is the best thing about volunteering for Light? Meeting different people, seeing the support making a difference and being able to get involved with a charity that provides an excellent service. The training is excellent too and gives you a chance to reflect on your own practice.
Can you describe what volunteering means to you in three words? Different, rewarding, learning.
Anything else that you would like to add? If you were like me and were hesitating about volunteering, just get in touch with a charity you’re interested in and have a chat. It doesn’t take up as much time as you might think and the benefits are huge. It’s built my confidence, enabled me to be involved in something that I feel passionately about and I’ve met some amazing people along the way too. Thank you for having me as your volunteer Light!
Thank you for volunteering with Light Sarah, it is the support commitment and dedication of our amazing volunteers that lets us continue to support mums and families across South Yorkshire.