"Being proud of who I am"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as a volunteer/advocate),

Story written with service user (who is deaf) and posted by a service user volunteer:

"2 and a half years ago I was referred to the Social Inclusion and Wellbeing service, who understood the stepping stones which I could do. I used to go to study IT at FOCUS on wellbeing, who used to be a part of Social Inclusion and Wellbeing with Tim Wood.

After working with my OT Rachael, she introduced me to Sangita, because I wanted to do voluntary work. I wanted to use tools I have, the good life skills and qualifications in sign language and I have empathy skills to use.

I am not ready for paid work, but wanted to do something, so I would not be home, alone, pondering my thoughts.

I work at disability direct for a couple of hours a week. It makes me feel better, giving something back. I do sign language with people and crafts and at the moment we are doing Christmas cards with people.

If you always rely on people all the time you never get better. I like people doing things for themselves, independently. I work with people with different disabilities. Its nice toget people together and doing things for themselves. Coming out and meeting people, social interactons. Its a friendship group and we are all on the same level.

I do voluntarary work with a young lad, who wanted to learn sign language, which was arranged through Disability Direct over the summer for 6 weeks. He is now doing a sign language course at college, so I feel I have done something to help him. It made me feel positiveto help him. I am not a teacher but I gave something back. I love sign language.

I like being in Social Inclusion and Wellbeing. I feel safe, I have someone to talk to. I try to work it out myself until crisis and then I can phone them. In the background they are there. I work with Rachel, Sangita and Ian, who are very supportive and willing to listen. A small problem to them can be a big problem to me. "

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Response from Julie Swann, Team Leader, Social Inclusion and Well-being Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Twiggie16

It is wonderful to read your story about how the social inclusion team has supported you to be involved in activities and volunteering so that you can use your skills and share them with others. It is very rewarding helping others and I am sure that the people that you work with value the time you spend with them

I will share your positive feedback with Rachel,Ian and Sangita

Kind Regards

Julie Swann

Team Leader Social Inclusion and Well Being Team

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