ESTEEM volunteers


Young volunteer smiling

We asked George about his experiences

Why did you start volunteering?

It was when the restrictions for COVID were being lessened and I wanted a way to meet new people, build confidence and help to deal with my anxiety. It seemed a good opportunity to help deal with the anxiety and isolation that came with COVID and other mental health issues as well as give back to the community helping me recover.

What has volunteering given you?

It has helped me gain confidence, practice my social skills and as such has helped relieve my anxiety and helped lift me out of depression. It has given me opportunities to build my own skills, to partake in activities I wouldn’t normally be able to, such as a trip to France. It’s also a way to give back to the community.

What are you most proud of?

I have helped ESTEEM plan the layout and design of the reworked building. I have also helped to get a new games console as well as many other smaller contributions during each week’s team meeting.

What would you say to a new other young adults thinking of volunteering?

That you get as much out of it as you put into it, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with approaching things slowly. An online meeting here and there building up to attending in person then coming regularly is completely valid. Never be afraid to contact adults if you have anxieties or any other issues as they’re very good at reassuring you.


Young volunteer smiling

We asked Sophie why she volunteers

Why did you start volunteering?

After becoming homeless for the first time, I started volunteering at ESTEEM in the hope of receiving support for my mental health, experiencing new things, meeting new people and generally having a more positive outlook on life.

What have you got out of it?

Volunteering continuously helps me to discover and become more comfortable with my identity, improve my wellbeing, life skills and provides me with many fulfilling opportunities. Also, I am currently working towards becoming a mentee to help improve my business skills in the hope of becoming self-employed in the future. I am supported upon my journey towards a better life and I am truly blessed to be a part of such an amazing charity!

What have you enjoyed most?

My most memorable is my involvement in the planning of our LGBTQ+ Enviro-wellness Day event. I collaborated with the Marine Conservation Society and other organisations to create a ‘queer-friendly’ event that promotes sustainability and caring for our beautiful planet. I also designed the event poster.

What would you say to a new other young adults thinking of volunteering?

Don’t hold back! Volunteering saved me and I just hope it will do the same for you too!