What this blog hopes to do is not only shine a light on the lives of clients in Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) but also celebrate them and amplify their voices. This blog will highlight events, individual clients and the services that BHT provides.
During National Volunteer Week the Mayor of Brighton hosted an event celebrating the contribution of BHT volunteers, many of which were clients or former clients. This week this blog will focus on Angie’s recollections of the event and her volunteer work with Fulfilling Lives.
“Well we mingled into the Mayor’s office. We had coffee amongst ourselves and then our names were read out on a list of volunteers and the group we were associated with. In my case it was the Fulfilling Lives project, they were all BHT volunteers. So we basically went up and shook hands with the Mayor and he thanked us for our volunteering. We had an opportunity to have our photograph taken with him. It was very much a get together and a thank you.”
“I didn’t really mingle with the volunteers from the other services in BHT, we mostly kept to ourselves. The other volunteers seemed pleased to be there. There is more to the BHT than I had initially thought. I now know there are 15 groups under BHT. I don’t know much about the other services, I just know about the project I am involved in.”
“We then went into the council chamber and the Mayor’s right hand man, sort of like his butler who does his personal things and is very knowledgeable about the role of the council and he talked to us about what happens in the chamber. It was very interesting. He described it as a micro parliament, does the same sort of thing and votes in the same sort of way. He said we could sit in the Mayor’s chair and bang the hammer. I didn’t feel the need but a few people did. It was a historical place.”
“I’ve worked with Fulfilling Lives since November of 2014. My volunteering with Fulfilling Lives really helped me express my views and my experiences about the services I wasn’t happy about. First and foremost it gave me my say really and allows me to help make services better for people who come after me. So having a voice is really important and my confidence has definitely grown. I am more self-accepting and like to think I am more tolerant of other people.”
“It has helped with my depression and my anxiety, so my recovery. I have a regular place to go to. I’ve got lots of support from the people in fulfilling lives who I consider friends and lots of training. Recently a level 4 qualification in peer support which fulfilling lives paid for. So yeah, I’ve had lots of training opportunities. I’ve shared my story and made new friends, had fun and I’ve seen people change their lives and move on. It’s sad when they move on but it’s also great because their lives go forward.”