Jess's volunteer story
I am writing to tell you more about the roles I have taken on at no panic and how they have helped me in my time after graduating. When I first applied for No Panic, I became an Awareness Raiser volunteer. This was something that worked well with my other volunteering role at Nightline. From Nightline 2018/19 I feel I was able to give some insights into how No Panic Sheffield can increase their online presence. The Instagram account as well as the LinkedIn one encouraged people to come to sessions that will benefit them by knowing about what topics are coming up or what they have missed. More of an online presence will help to aim the service at students to join as volunteers or come to sessions if they are struggling with metal health problems. As a student I know how over run the student services are, so it is nice to know where else there is to turn. A 10 minute GP session can feel overwhelming and not very thorough, so having other options where people can help explain how you might be feeling is useful and I think No Panic Sheffield might be be useful in this way.
After a while in the awareness role I was given the opportunity to become a Group Facilitator. Something I looked forward to as it would boost my therapeutic skills. I am a graduate looking to work in therapy such as CBT. Through my experience of being a facilitator I can see how mental health problems are affecting people face to face. Something I sadly could not get at nightline. As a Psychology student I have learnt about how mental health conditions occur, their symptoms and their treatment. However, I have never been able to put that knowledge into practice. Through being a volunteer at No Panic Sheffield I can not only help people with my knowledge, but I can also gain more on how everyone has different signs and symptoms of conditions such as anxiety. This kind of experience is vital to me and I am very lucky to have been able to have a chance to help people.
Volunteering (current roles June 2021)
We particularly welcome applications from males, those over 30 and those from non-psychology backgrounds as we recognise our organisation's volunteers doesn't represent the membership as well as it could. Only 4 out of 24 volunteers are men. At times 80%+ of our organisation has been made up of people with psychology degrees and we recognise this puts applicants off.
Fundraising volunteer (apply now)
No Panic Sheffield sessions are heavily subsidised by fundraising from funding bids and donations and is essential for the continuition of the organisation. Fundraising volunteer will include with the assistance of others where appropriate, writing funding bids, other fundraising activities and collections and promotion.
Awareness Raising volunteer
These promote the charity on social media, website and in person. Some awareness raising volunteers have gone on to become facilitators after a few months doing the role after being unfortunately unsuccessful when first applying due to volumes of applicants.
These volunteers work on small evaluation projects within the organisation to steer the direction of the groups and help with funding bids, without which groups wouldn't exist, as most of the costs is met by funding bids.
Volunteer administrator (please e-mail if interested)
We are looking for a volunteer administrator. This job mostly involves answering e-mail, forwarding onto the appropriate people and liaising with trustees and coordinator. The role requires the ability to check e-mails for a short time most days, confidentiality and to learn about the mental health landscape in Sheffield with being able to signpost people on in a limited set of circumstances. This role traditionally was done by the chair of No Panic Sheffield and is a critical role as it frees up time for trustees to better plan for the future.
Treasurer (trustee) (please e-mail/call if interested)
We are looking for the right person to become the treasurer for NPS for what we hope is a reasonably long stint. One previous treasurer held the role for many years. The right person would ideally have some kind of interest in mental health, financial experience with accountant qualification a great bonus. The main duties are attending trustee meetings, being one of three account holders on the bank account, specialism in finances for a very small charity and able to offer advice on a stable financial future for the charity.