ANNA’S STORY: A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
Volunteering at NUAA has really become a platform for me to grow and gain greater self-esteem. I’ve been given a new lease on life.
I wasn't able to work mentally or physically for about four or five years after a major assault. Then I was living with someone who was volunteering at NUAA and she suggested I should do it. She has no idea what she did for me. It changed my life.
I’ve really grown. A little bit of discipline, in terms of having to turn up and do what I said I would, having a commitment, engaging in learning something new, communicating with work colleagues and service users − I needed it all and it woke me up. It just sparked a side of me I hadn't tapped into for a long time. I let go of feeling down and took control of my life.
I love it. I love the community. I love the education. I love the acceptance and respect. I love working with people like me.
The confidence I found really made me get my shit together and motivated me to want more for myself. As a result, I ended up getting my housing sorted. I started swimming again and started studying. What a kick start! It's led to lots of new skills because I have been able to attend great
training courses and get good on-the-job feedback. I also learned important things like how to set boundaries, how to be professional and how to negotiate the health system. That has led to some paid work, which has been fantastic.
Volunteering at NUAA really focused me. I've got a passion for life back. I have a whole new outlook because I learned that all my experience is valuable and useful, that I have a lot to offer, and that I am good enough, just as I am.