Volunteering-SAFE needs YOU!

We run CBT Based courses for Adults and young people with barriers in their lives, stopping them from going forward in work, education etc, many of whom suffer from mental or physical health issues and learning disabilities.

Use your skills to help others

Meet SAFE youth volunteers

Pictures below show Abbie and Ryan receiving their certificates from Nina Kelly CEO after completing the Choices programme, followed by their stories and how the programme helped them, now they are inspired to help others.

Abbie (20)

I was doing youthwork last year after I left college and started volunteering with Solent youth action as I needed something to do.  I was told ‘You’re good at helping people’ so I thought I would see what youth work is like.  I did really enjoy it, but I wasn’t ready because I didn’t have the qualifications and I had a lot of issues.

There were trigger points that set me back. For example, if a young person talked to me about certain things it would set off flashbacks and I would panic.  I was getting counselling from Yellow Door, but I was not much of a talker and I didn’t like talking about my issues.

Before the course I would self-harm if I had a problem.  I have now found different techniques that work.  For example, instead of self-harming I will write.  I need to start doing that again and drawing as well. I stopped after I got rejected from going back to college, I was dealt with quite harshly with no reason by Eastleigh college which has a had significant impact.

I have stopped puling my hair, stopped picking at my skin and stopped wearing hats as much now because of the course. I’m only wearing one now because I like it! I still pick at my face but it’s getting better with my new mindset towards Dermatalomania and Trictchodalamania.

I have a sensory processing disorder and if I find something too overpowering, I will pull my hair out which I don’t want to because it grows back ingrown. Now I will remove myself from the situation and then talk to someone or write down why it is overpowering.

The course has helped me re discover strengths and get back into doing things I used to do.

I have an Interview which is technically a zero-hours contract, but they can guarantee a few hours per week at least. The rest of the time I will start training for a day care centre and do bank work looking after older people with dementia.

The best bit of course has been meeting new people. I am more positive now and if I’m stuck, I have a different way of looking at it and a different way of dealing with it.  I am more sociable because I am more willing to go out.  Old friends would get in contact, but I didn’t want to go out. I still don’t, but I am going out anyway.

Everyone has been great. I had a panic attack during the course and Michelle was very calm about dealing with it.

Update 06/03/19 – Abbie is volunteering at our March ‘Youth Course’ and doing very well with a very positive outlook, relating well to candidates and helping out very positively.

Ryan (19)

The biggest thing out of the course for me is knowing what I want to do for work as I had no idea.  The course helped me to look at my skills and strengths and I realised there is something that I can do and would be good at given the chance. Seeing the people like Michelle helping others, it makes me want to do that.  I am a caring person and concerned about how someone is feeling, and I do enjoy helping people.

At first, I thought it would be hard to relate to others but when you get to know people you realise that we feel very similar. The course has boosted my confidence through being able to speak openly to more people.  I think that relating to people and hearing other people’s experiences that were similar to my own helped.

I went to college for a month but dropped out because the coursework was so much, and it was giving me anxiety. I stopped going out seeing people and stayed in all day and got bored. My parents didn’t want me sitting around all day, but I spent about a half a year doing nothing before going to a doctor and getting professionally diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I then went to counselling. iTalk helped a little bit 2 years ago.

I carried on doing nothing and then went to different a counsellor and at one session they gave me the push I needed. They said you are not going to get anywhere if you don’t do anything. They referred me to Princes Trust, and they put me on the Choices course.

I feel quite lucky that this opportunity has come to me so early and not many years later.

The best activity for me was looking at our skills and strengths and what sort of work we’d be good in helped. Also, being able to identify when you are thinking negatively and putting yourself down and learning the techniques to turn that around to think positively is really helpful.  For example, a week ago I was with a family member who said something that put me in a bad mood. I started thinking I’m useless and I’m bad and then I realised that I was saying that. I will do something, I can do something and I’m not going to think like that.

Next steps:   volunteering at March youth course.

Education:  Find out if there are qualifications that I might need for a job I want to do, like youth work.

Dream job:  Youth work, teenagers upwards.

Continue my friendship with Tia who was on the course and is 19 as well. 25th Jan, Ryan could not attend the reunion because he is volunteering at Princes Trust. Ryan is volunteering at the January 2019 youth course to build his confidence and experience in this area to gain employment as a youth worker.

Volunteering roles

Becoming a choices facilitator

A facilitators viewpoint

We will reimburse travel expenses, provide refreshments & often lunch if available.
You will gain valuable work experience and we can help with any relevant qualifications.

How else can YOU help us?
Admin Work
We often need help in a variety of admin and I.T. tasks i.e inputting data into our computer system, scanning documents, photocopying and printing, shredding and filing to name but a few!
We are in the office generally Monday to Friday, 8.30-5pm.
Any time between then is great!
Graphic Design
As a small charity, we will always require graphic design for things such as our candidate manuals, and many of our marketing materials.
Any time between 8.30-5pm Monday-Friday is good, or you could even possibly produce the materials at home.
Learning Support
Many of our candidates need extra help to get the best out of their group experience and the learning materials on the course. We are looking for someone friendly and supportive to sit alongside them to answer questions or help them make notes in their manuals, as this makes all the difference.
Courses run 10am - 3.30pm, Currently on a Tuesday and Wednesday. If you could do even a couple of hours that would be fantastic!

Volunteer Treasurer Trustee
Volunteer Psychologist Trustee
Volunteer Marketing Trustee
Volunteer Health and Well Being Trustee

Why volunteer as a trustee? This can be a route into a senior management role, it provides an opportunity to demonstrate your skills for career progression, others simply wish to put back and reconnect with their communities via a charity that resonates strongly with them. Yours skills and experience will make a big difference and the rewards from seeing people transform through the Choices programmes are enormous. You get to make a positive contribution to your community


If any of the above  sounds like something you would like to do, please email choices@safe.org.uk or contact Michelle Hammerton, SAFE Training Manager: 07561 026430.