Celebrating Volunteering on World Mental Health Day

08 Oct 2019

Linda Brooks and Leah Phillips, residents at Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House for people with mental health needs, are enjoying volunteering at their local Cancer Research Shop in nearby West Hampstead. They are currently doing their induction and are responsible for the media department. Their work involves looking after the films, music, cards and CDs in the shop. They also replenish flyers so customers can keep up to date with the latest news and events in the area.  

Talking about her new role, Leah Phillips says, “It is important for me, because I like to talk with people and I like to help people. I like to make friends. And I like to get out of the house.”  

Linda Brooks adds, “I like to help people and I feel ok to go there and get out.” 

Isabel Fontes, Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House Activity Coordinator has been supporting them to start volunteering. She says, “Linda and Leah’s volunteer work at the shop is rewarding and has been a great step to improving their sense of well being. 

She continues, “It is so important for us all to have a role and a sense of purpose, and this experience and new sense of responsibility has given them confidence. Leah and Linda are working really well as a team and are great at organising when they are in the shop, so it’s really working to their strengths.  

“It’s extremely positive for people with mental health problems to connect and communicate with their community. Volunteering is giving them fulfilling, meaningful activities to prevent them from being isolated or thinking about negative things.  It shows that even with limitations, anything is possible regardless of age or ability, if there is proper support.” 

Sandra Saintus, Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House Manager adds, “These two amazing ladies represent the ethos which we firmly believe in and we want to get the message out there, especially for World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October, to “See Me not My Mental Health." 

World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against social stigma.