How I came to be a volunteer Carer Champion
“I first came across York Carers Centre when I was searching for support groups for people with a loved one with an addiction as my Dad’s alcohol addiction had got out of control.
I’ve been attending the Substance Misuse Support Group on zoom and I haven’t looked back since; the group has been a saviour to me over the last year. I also started volunteering for York Carers Centre at the same time, doing a mixture of befriending and welfare calls and also some admin work. This helped me so much after being furloughed from work during the lockdown, I felt like I had a purpose again and the fact that I could give back to the charity that was helping me so much felt really good.
This has led onto some other work I am now doing with the charity Adfam and their Lived Experience Advisory group, where I felt I could put some of the experiences in dealing with my Dad’s addiction to good use and turn the negative into a positive.
This would never have been possible for me before joining the carer support group as I wouldn’t have had the headspace or the understanding.
From there I have also set up a project for those affected by the addiction of a loved one called ‘Stitch Away the Stigma’ helping those who are affected to feel they have a space to share their feelings and be a part of something and not feel so alone.
I have gained so much and grown so much over the last year thanks to York Carers Centre, from both my volunteering roles with them and also by attending their monthly carer support group.
I have changed my focus and have started looking after myself mentally and putting myself first for the first time in a long time. I want to use this to help others in a similar position to me, and I feel I have gained so much understanding and many new skills from working with them and being helped by Sam and the others in the group. I really feel I owe an awful lot and I hope to keep working with them for many years to come.
They have helped me be brave and realise and understand what I need!”
If you would like to know more about using your skills and experience to support other carers in York, please get in touch.
To know more about supporting someone through issues with substance-misuse please take a look at our two monthly groups.