Positive Destinations – Case Studies

Examples that highlight the journey taken by volunteers towards a new, positive destination are, for the greater part qualitative, reflecting the contribution of the mentor and the volunteering and the efforts of the mentee.

The following extracts are taken from reports, compiled jointly by the mentor and mentee, to mark the completion of the programme.

Q entered the programme with mental health issues and was referred, through the mentor, to the relevant health services. Consequently, Q has developed successful coping mechanisms to deal with stress and worked effectively in a placement team, acquiring significant practical, social and communication skills. A further positive is that Q is now self-confident enough to consider further volunteering in a different organisation.

In relation to the recent volunteering placement, Q has commented ‘ I love to help others and be involved…… I feel important when I’m here …. it’s a safe space for me.’

P had a limited, previous work history but joined Positive Destinations with no goals for the future, a marked lack of purpose and with significantly diminished confidence. The mentor found out that being around people would be a key to the search for a placement, and it also became clear that an environment where P felt comfortable would be central to success.

Eventually, a suitable placement was arranged, with two half-day sessions each week.  Relatively quickly P integrated well with work colleagues and with clients at the placement and began to take on a level of responsibility, and family members, together with the mentor,  noted how well P was looking. As the placement was completed the mentor noted that P was now looking positively towards the future, with a sense of purpose, and had decided to continue as a volunteer.

Z entered the programme with a level of depression, low confidence, high anxiety and could not leave the house unless accompanied. Engaging with Positive Destinations was a significant and rewarding step for Z who built a strong and trusting relationship with the mentor, and worked successfully at the volunteering placement. ‘Mentoring … was the thing that ensured I completed my volunteer placement – without it, I don’t think I would have been able to.’  ‘One of the things I really valued was that my mentor was always honest with me – she would keep in touch and make me accountable – and that helped me to understand more about myself and get back on track’.

Working with the mentor enabled Z to become an independent traveller and develop into a quietly confident individual with excellent communication skills. After completing the programme Z entered into full-time further education.

W joined Positive Destinations with some qualifications and work history but with low confidence, poor mental health and a lack of future goals. Work on W’s physical health, together with  continuing mentoring had positive benefits and a suitable placement related to the earlier work history was found. Initially, W preferred to work alone and out of the public eye but grew to become a strong team member enjoying contact with the general public.  A further step forward has been living independently, in supported accommodation.

As the formal placement closed, W decided to stay on as a volunteer.The line manager reported ‘We would really welcome W staying on as a volunteer… a warm, kind, funny and supportive team member’