At Feeding Gainsborough, we believe focussing on the stories of those in our community is much more powerful than just collecting data; turning individuals into statistics. Sharing our own stories can bring reassurance, hope and optimism to those stuck in similar situations who may feel like they’re the only ones struggling. Have you ever read someone else’s story and thought ‘This is exactly what I needed to hear today’ or ‘I thought this was only me’?
We are launching our own project to, anonymously, share stories from members in our community. These stories will be from when they’ve been supported by Feeding Gainsborough whether it was through food support, attending one of our events, volunteering with us, help getting housing, personal support work etc.
Our first anonymous story comes from an incredible member of our volunteering team who met us when our organisation was just starting up. They had been struggling with their mental health for a few years and wanted to get out the house and begin volunteering with a local group. They began to work in the office, a completely new environment to them, but enjoyed learning new skills and meeting new people. As their confidence grew, they began getting more involved with our work, helping clients with benefit forms, doing paperwork and manning the phone.
When the first lockdown hit in March 2020, Feeding Gainsborough started up an intensive 12-week food parcel programme. Their role changed quickly and they began recording the figures of our food distribution and providing important data back to us. They have now moved into our new office block, volunteering within the support at Feeding Gainsborough team and currently have their own role as a support worker with their own client list they are responsible for.
Of course, some mental health days are worse than others but now they have a group of friends, a job where they can help others and a great team around them to help with anything life throws at them! They have emphasised ‘My life is totally different, I am totally different, I have confidence in myself. When I met the team, I was just surviving holding on with my fingertips and now I am actually beginning to live.’
‘I felt poor when I first came to work with Steve and Julie but now, I feel rich and very blessed’
They are hoping to continue to work in the support team at Feeding Gainsborough for many years to come so that they can help people the way they have been helped and supported. We are very grateful to have this individual as part of our team as well as all of our other amazing volunteers. After lockdown eases, we will begin to start new volunteers into our team again, if you are interested in volunteering with us please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
If you have a story from when you have been in contact with us that you would like to share please share it with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook @FeedingGainsborough
Our new project was inspired by this wonderful art piece by Cormac Russel: