Billie’s volunteering story
“I felt so grateful and at home with this group, there was so much openness and realness”
Started volunteering with Humankind: Early 2021
Volunteer role: Co-facilitator
“Last year, after working in the fast-moving world of events, I decided that I would rather put my energy into working with people in a caring role. I was also volunteering with a local radio station in Tottenham called Threads at the time and curating shows that focused on community outreach and, as part of that, I collaborated with Humankind. To mark Recovery Pride Week in the services, we created a series of five one-hour shows, telling the stories of service users, staff and volunteers and their experiences of addiction, recovery and the services provided by Humankind. The series highlighted the stigmatisation faced by people using drugs and alcohol, and the stories were very personal and inspiring. I had put a lot of time and energy into the project and when the opportunity to apply for a volunteering position with Humankind came up, I jumped at the very idea having had such a brilliant experience during Recovery Pride.
As a volunteer with Humankind, every Tuesday I co-facilitate the local recovery sustainment group once a week and attend the ‘Our Service’ group – it’s made Tuesday my favourite day of the week! During my time in these services, I am proud and happy to say that I have supported with events and activities, including running a workshop and organising events like a nature walk for Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). As a group we also put together a radio show for MHAW around the different recovery services that are available to provide some insight into what happens at the services and how they have affected/changed people’s lives and wellbeing. This show was then broadcast on Threads Radio with the hope that it will reach others who may be going through a hard time with addiction. It was truly beautiful to hear the members from “Our Service” speak so openly about their experiences and to share their own wisdom.
I feel very grateful to be part of these groups which are very open and provide connections and a sense of community to everyone who attends. Volunteering with the groups has given me a warmth and realness that had been lacking in my professional career and it brings me a lot of joy. I am learning so much and gaining real life skills and, as a result of my volunteering, I’ve just secured a job as a Trainee Recovery Coordinator with Humankind’s Haringey Recovery Service which I am over the moon about, now Tuesdays are everyday!”