MindOut share how a volunteering role lead Kitty to develop skills and secure paid employment with them...
In March 2020 Kitty joined MindOut’s online support team as a volunteer, following a successful training and induction program. Kitty's introduction to the role was at the start of Lockdown 1, therefore they needed to be able to run the sessions from home as the service was no longer office based.
Kitty’s prime reason to volunteer was to gain experience in the voluntary and charity sector, specifically working with people with mental health concerns as their ambition was to secure permanent employment in this sector and with this client group. Being LGBTQ identified made volunteering with MindOut even more desirable.
As Kitty gained experience and their confidence increased, they began to take the lead in running specific themed sessions including QTPOC support and Suicidal Distress. Over time, Kitty developed an active interest in the service’s growth and development and started to assist in the running and coordination of the service as part of their volunteer role. The experience and skills Kitty was developing, combined with their passion and commitment to providing mental health support to often vulnerable people in crisis, especially during a global pandemic fuelled their enthusiasm to pursue a career in this field of work. Again, identifying as LGBTQ, and providing specific services during the pandemic to other LGBTQ people who are disproportionately affected by Covid and lockdown felt important and meaningful to Kitty.
As a result of this experience, Kitty has now accessed paid employment with the organization and has further developed their skills in group facilitation and advocacy, as well as training to become a counsellor.
MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people (LGBT/LGBTQ), providing peer mentoring and online support as part of the Community Roots network.