Ben’s volunteering experience in Norfolk

This week is Volunteers Week. We’re extremely grateful for all the time, effort, and experience our volunteers bring to our team. Whether it’s through recovery support, mentoring, admin, or any other role, they help us make a real difference.

We spoke to Ben, one of our Peer Mentors about his experience volunteering with us.


What made you want to volunteer?

I wanted to start volunteering to help people who are in a similar situation to what I was in. From the past help and support, I have received; I have always found it more valuable to speak to someone with lived experience. They know how it feels, know the obstacles that need to be overcome, and often provided tips and advice from their own experiences.

I thought if I could share some of my story with others, it may help them to get to where they need to be. The secondary positive to my volunteering is that it helps me with my own recovery. It's something I have to keep in mind every day and volunteering helps to remind me how far I've come.


What's the best thing about volunteering?

It's a really rewarding feeling knowing that you have helped somebody or educated a group. I have also put myself outside of my comfort zone in certain situations, like when talking to a group about my experiences. This has helped me grow as a person and develop my confidence, which I had lost over the years of drinking and using drugs. Change Grow Live has also been very flexible with what I do, this has made it easy to fit in around my home life.


What's your favourite memory from volunteering?

My favourite memory was after I completed a talk to a group of student nurses about addiction. I've never been the most confident public speaker, I assumed this group would be a handful of students, perhaps 10-12. It turned out to be over 100.

After I had nervously finished talking about my experiences, I wasn't expecting anyone to have listened to me and doubted there would have been any questions. But everybody had taken it all in and had plenty of questions to ask. This made me feel great, I had accomplished something, that 6 months ago, I would have never even considered doing. And at the same time, I was helping to educate future nurses on how to support someone in addiction. 


Find out how you can get involved here

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