Amanda began volunteering with us in April 2021 at the centre's food pantry, and has since got involved with other projects at the centre. Read on to find out about her involvement with the Community Champions project...
What motivated you to get involved?
When the project started I was keen for health messages to be promoted in the area. At the time the focus was on the most emerging theme which was Covid, during the outbreak of the pandemic. It was great to signpost people to get the vaccine, and promote positive messages. I also like sharing health messages on all aspects, as when we complete listenings people often mention the health issues they have and it is great to be able to support and signpost people to the relevant agencies that can further help them.
What skills have you developed and learnt?
I now have a better understanding on how to complete an active listening. I’m also more aware of the different types of organisations and agencies that help and support people with health issues or crisis. I have attended various training courses that have upskilled me in First Aid, Cancer and how to make sure every conversation counts. My confidence levels have grown, but still continue to grow.
What activities are you involved in that further supports your Community Champion engagement? What are you proud of?
From the listenings that we have collated at L4G, one of the issues that was continually being raised by local residents was that people are struggling with both fuel and food poverty which impacts on their physical and mental wellbeing. From this we identified funding to set up a Welcoming Places project offering people a safe, warm space where they can eat a healthy affordable meal and socialise with others, but also save on their heating costs whilst attending the café.
I run this every Thursday, 10am- 2pm. We have recruited other volunteers so that this is now fully run by local residents for local residents.
What are your aspirations going forwards?
I would like to attend more training on Diabetes to become a Diabetes Health Champion, as I listen to a lot of people locally who are diagnosed or becoming diagnosed with Diabetes. This would motivate me to set up and to run healthy eating session to support this, also giving out Diabetic health messages.
How do you see yourself now?
I see myself as more confident, and I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience through volunteering as a Community Champion. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to work in wellbeing. It’s a good starting point for anyone wanting to work in wellbeing in the future.
Amanda is a real asset to the team.
It's been fantastic to see her progression into different roles!
Interested in getting involved with Longley 4G? Contact Penny on 07908 400 398.