Volunteer Stories

We would love to hear stories from our volunteers at Blenheim to feature on this site. If you are a volunteer and would like to share your experiences – and inspire others to join our volunteering team – then drop us a line today at volunteer@blenheimcdp.org.uk!

Haylo volunteerHaylo, Trainee Project Worker

I have 3 ½ years experience volunteering in the drug and alcohol field. Previously I worked in a rehab, started off as peer mentor and worked my way to a Recovery Coach, which entailed living in a Primary Care House as the sole round-the-clock in-house staff which meant doing everything from getting everyone up and ready, T.D’s finished and then get them all to the center, to various conflict management situations including relapse situations etc. I was also assigned to liaise with clients that were waiting to come to our treatment centre, until a bed was available.

Why did you choose to volunteer with Blenheim?

I kind of stumbled into it, I came to directions to do Sundial as I thought it was a training programme for people volunteering in the drug and alcohol field. After speaking to the staff that were running the course (particularly Karen Brown, I later on that week received a phone call offering me a volunteering opportunity at Blenheim and I haven’t looked back since.
What do you like about volunteering at Blenheim?

I feel that at Blenheim I am appreciated as a trainee professional rather than “just a volunteer” which is more often than not, an attitude at other services, well, in my previous experience anyways.

Where were you brought up?

Albania, Belgium & England (Slough).

What is your earliest memory?

I am truly blessed with so many vivid memories of my childhood; I was blessed with a big (yet very tight) extended family which made my childhood an eventful one to say the least.

What is your proudest moment?

Becoming a Godmother last month. Best feeling ever to be entrusted with such responsibility, an honour.

What do you do in your spare time?

Just finishing my Counselling studies. Health and Fitness.

Give an interesting fact about yourself.

My ultimate dream growing up was to become a red arrow and fly a Concord one day. Clearly that ship sailed, when the concord got taken off the skies.

Elena Adams, Volunteer Counsellor

Elena Adams, Volunteer Counsellor

Why did you choose to volunteer with Blenheim?

I applied to join Blenheim because it has a good reputation and offered training. I have a background in television and event production, a high stress corporate life and wanted to give something back and do something meaningful with my life.

What do you like about volunteering at Blenheim?

I appreciate the training – there was flexibility about the days I chose to work – supportive team – very generous in paying travel and meal allowance – treated with respect and not just given menial tasks to do as a volunteer. At Evolve the team really care about their clients – it is not just a job for them it is a good environment to work in. I feel I am of help – that it is appreciated and I enjoy it – makes me feel good after my day.

Where were you brought up?

Reading.

What is your earliest memory?

Walking by the sea in a storm with my grandmother at night.

What is your proudest moment?

Giving up the corporate life and doing something I wanted to do.

What is the best piece of advice that anyone gave to you?

Fake it to make it.

What do you do in your spare time?

Studying at college as a mature student and go to the gym.

Give an interesting fact about yourself.

I have 3 Russian grandparents and I have been to Everest Base Camp.

Cynthia Leacock

Cynthia-LeacockMorning has broken and I have awoken.

The long journey into work seems quite short as my efforts of contribution to the day ahead overshadows what could easily blend into a mundane routine. But oh no, not with the team and service users that greets me each morning as spirits are high and my determination to make a positive difference in our service users lives is motivated by the buzz of optimism and wealth of diverse experience between the team at Nexus.

The team, who have inducted me into a practical, psychological and emotional experience, has taught me skills new and old that I endeavour to do within my remit. Therefore endorsing the greater good of the service we provide.

My duties on a daily basis include one to one intervention, group facilitation and administration/data input, almost turning my hand to tasks that allow me to absorb new and different experiences at a professional level. My favourite part of the job is being able to empower clients, supporting them while they work towards reduction, abstinence and sobriety from substances that may have taken away their freedom. For some clients, it just a matter of a warm welcome, a smiling face, a cup of tea and a chat, for one to just listen, while they share their experiences.

As I reflect at the end of a day and look back at my input, I feel privileged that I have offered the best support I can, which in turn will aspire our clientele to work towards their goals, maintaining a substance free lifestyle and future.

Cynthia Leacock…………….As I aspire to inspire before I expire.