The benefits of being a media volunteer

NewspapersThis morning at 7:20 am I heard Helen (not her real name) talk about  our mentoring project for young adults experiencing mental health issues on BBC London radio.

It was all to coincide with a new report by the Mental Health Foundation revealing that modern life is making us more lonely - with one in ten of us often feeling lonely and half of us thinking that people are getting lonelier in general. As the Media Officer here I often find it hard to find great case studies to promote volunteering and particularly volunteering on our projects  - not just because people are often hesitant to share their experiences with the media but also because the issues we might be tackling through volunteering can often be quite sensitive. Such as mental health.

That's why I was so lucky to find Helen. She'd been meeting her volunteer mentor for just over a couple of months and had some really heart warming things to say about how her mentor had helped her feel less lonely and how she'd become the "perfect supplement to her nurse and therapist." Helen really wanted to share her positive experience of having a Back to Life mentor and raise awareness of the project amongst other young adults who might be feeling lonely and could benefit from having a mentor as much as she had. Her desire to get involved really touched me - it shows just how much the project has helped her and how she's so keen for others like her to get that help too.

Listen to Helen on BBC London Breakfast Show with Gaby Roslin & Paul Ross

Charities are always looking out for volunteers to be what they call a 'media volunteer'. Someone who wants to tell people about their experience through the media to help promote a campaign they're running or just to provide the human aspect to what they do. And if you're a volunteer then you can always contact me to tell me about your experience - anything interesting and newsworthy. I'm always all ears!