People from across Staffordshire are being encouraged to consider volunteering as part of a new campaign to help keep themselves happy, healthy and feeling good.
The ‘Do it to feel good’ campaign is reminding people of the importance of looking after their mental health and the positive impact that making small changes can have on their wellbeing.
Francesca Whetnall, aged 28 is one person who has improved her own wellbeing while making a difference in her local community. Francesca volunteered at Silverdale library in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, before going on to be employed by Business Enterprise Support who run Silverdale and Clayton Libraries.
She said: “It was very difficult for me to decide to volunteer, I had been out of work at that point for around eight years due to having mental health issues. Volunteering at the library, although scary at first, gave me so much confidence and a sense of self-worth that I didn’t have before. I have also met so many amazing people and it has completely changed my life for the better. I would most definitely recommend volunteering to others.”
Jan Nevitt, aged 63 recently moved to Stafford. She didn’t know anyone in the local area apart from her family but is now a volunteer at Silkmore Children’s Centre where she helps out once a week at the Stay and Play sessions there.
Jan said: “Volunteering has made me feel great again and has helped me get out and about and socialise. Rather than being at home and wondering what to do with your day, go out and do it. I’d definitely recommend volunteering.”
Dr Johnny McMahon, Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Integrated Care at Staffordshire County Council said: “Now more than ever, it’s important for us all to be more mindful of our mental wellbeing, to help us to live a happier and healthier life. If we can do this and help others at the same time, we can all benefit and that’s where volunteering can make a difference.
“When you volunteer, you’re helping yourself as well as others. You’re getting out and connecting with people, learning new skills which can boost your confidence, and the kind act of giving can help improve your self-esteem and emotional health too. There’s hundreds of volunteering opportunities available across the county and I would urge people to have a look and take that first step.”
‘Do it to feel good’ is based on the five pillars of well-being: connecting with other people; being active; taking notice of the world around you; learning new skills and giving.
Details of local volunteering opportunities are available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/DoingOurBit/Volunteering