From volunteering into paid employment

I have always been a person who thrives off helping others and being able to share my own skills with others. I was supported by Sandwell African Caribbean Mental Health Foundation to get involved with running the TechConnect group at the Kuumba centre as a volunteer. Being able to help and support others who have limited IT skills has given me a real sense of achievement. One of my goals has been to gain skills which would help me to return to paid employment for some time now.

Through WDH Sandwell, I have been receiving support from the Kuumba team in developing my job ready skills. Doing this whilst also volunteering to improve my CV, has been great. I’ve been able to demonstrate my work ethic and skills and when I was invited to interview for a job role at the Kuumba centre, I was really happy. The staff were very helpful during the process, and I was able to be myself in an environment I already feel comfortable in.

I am pleased to say I was successful in my interview and I now have a job! I have a paid role within the organisation for 10 hours a week. This allows enough time for me to continue volunteering at the centre once a week and the other two days for volunteering I do elsewhere. It works well for me. It’s early days, but I am in the process of learning how to be part of a team. It is an interested transition from being a service user to helping and giving back to the very people who have helped me. The WDH Sandwell programme has allowed the resources and time for the centre to be able to offer employment support to individuals like me. I have not only gained confidence, but I am excited for what is to come in the future, as I continue to learn and do more.

It has given me a real sense of achievement, ownership and purpose. I am helping others which is something I really enjoy. Using my own lived experience of mental health, I am being paid to offer support and guidance to others and it has enabled me to work as part of a team and gain more knowledge and skills. I have plans to continue supporting other people through both my job role and through my volunteering. I am grateful to the Kuumba team for providing me with such an opportunity and I am excited for the future. It means a lot to me that I was considered for the role in which I am now employed for.

“This is only the start for me. I am excited to see where this journey leads me.”

Delivery Partners

Wider determinants of health (WDH) are a range of social, environmental and economic factors which impact directly on the health (physical and mental) of the population. We have been working in partnership with the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT) to identify how best to address some of the wider determinants of health, and how they impact on the wellbeing of our local residents. We are pleased to be delivering services which address some of these wider determinants of health and that help to support people who are in need.

Project Funded By:

Our partners

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