Volunteering Week is from the 1st – 7th June. Volunteering takes place throughout the Trust’s programmes, and we’d like to showcase some of our participant’s experience in volunteering and how it has benefited them.

Fourteen year old Tom (left) from Ilkeston has been promoting positive mental health messages as well as fundraising as part of his volunteering with the Trust’s Winning Minds programme.

Winning Minds is a volunteer pathway for those over 10 years, who are affected by low self esteem or confidence to improve health and wellbeing.

He first got involved in Winning Minds after his school shared the session information to Tom, which he thought would be a good experience. Tom struggled with confidence which prevented him from making friends and was unable to truly act like himself around people.

Since joining the programme, Tom has seen a great improvement in his self-esteem and communication skills, and finds it easier speaking in front of groups.

Tom hadn’t done any volunteering or social action prior to joining Winning Minds. His volunteering consisted of holding workshops for community groups such as Cubs, Scouts and local football clubs. He taught them about the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ and how it can improve your mental wellbeing; like it did for him when he learn about it through Winning Minds.

He’s also been fundraising at school fairs and has encouraged his family to take part in other volunteering ventures in the future.

“My experience on the winning minds project has boosted my confidence and many others.

“Seeing the enjoyment from the young people and how the workshops have helped them, makes me want to continue to take part. I have met new people and don’t feel as shy now. I now use the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ in everyday life.

“No matter what your interest in, volunteering will always cover that and more.”

Tom extends his thanks to the National Lottery and Sport England, who’s funding allows Winning Minds to improve the confidence and wellbeing of young people like Tom.

For more information on the Winning Minds programme, please email [email protected]

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