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I started volunteering with RealLiving after I received support for two years from LinkLiving’s tenancy support in Fife. When I first became involved with LinkLiving I wasn’t in a good place with due to my health problems and at that time I had been spending a lot of time in hospital.
When I first met with my support I was a bit apprehensive and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to work with him, but through time I got to know him and we built up trust with one another. So after the initial period we started looking at budgeting, shopping as well as the emotional support he gave me I started to see things changing in my life and I started to feel better in myself and my confidence was gradually getting better although there was still times when I was in and out of hospital but I could see that they were also just trying to help me.
I was also starting to go to a group at West Bridge Mill which was great as I started to make new friends and through this my confidence increased dramatically.
My support worker then moved on to a new role within LinkLiving which was to take on the Befriending Service, RealLiving. He asked me if I would like to be involved in volunteering with the service and I said yes. At first I was really nervous about the idea of volunteering but I was made feel at ease. Initially I had to complete an application pack and attend induction training and I learned the skills I needed to become a good Befriender through different training that was provided. When I met my first Befriender as I was very anxious and thinking what am I doing.... but once I started to get to know the person I was matched up with things started to get easier and ended up having three matches at the one time. After a while I said that I would be willing to get more involved in the project and this led on to me being a mentor for the volunteers and I started getting involved with the monitoring and evaluation of the service.
As I was learning more and more new skills I then had got to the point in my life when I realised it was time to get back in to some kind of employment and I applied for a post with LinkLiving as Assistant Volunteer Worker with RealLiving and SmartLiving which I successfully got and I was so pleased about it.
After six months of employment with LinkLiving another vacancy came up as Volunteer Worker, again with RealLiving but on a more permanent basis. I am so thrilled to be part of Link and the fact that they have seen something in me that I don’t see in myself sometimes. I am now at the point in my life that I am starting to believe in myself and I couldn’t be happier at this moment in time.
I am so very grateful for all the help and support I have received and even now full-time employment has made me realise that there was more to life than sitting at home... and I guess what I am trying say is that If I didn’t take the help that was offered to me I may have been in a much worse situation but I am happy to say that life is really good.