Anne’s story

When Anne started volunteering at WECIL she was at a real low point. With support of the team, she grew in confidence and skills - so much so that she is now a permanent member of the team!

“When I first started volunteering at WECIL I was petrified of answering the phone. My stomach would turn at the sound of the phone ringing, and my hands would start to sweat and tremble.

I had first contacted WECIL after seeing a volunteer position advertised on the Job Centre website. I was unemployed and spending a lot of time at home – feeling isolated and lacking in self-confidence. I knew I needed a purpose and had heard good things about WECIL, so I applied to volunteer in the office for a few hours a week.

We agreed a start date but I was unable to go ahead, as a few days before, my dad fell ill and sadly passed away suddenly. A week afterwards my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a really tough time, but the volunteer coordinator at WECIL kept checking-in with me and offering support, until I was ready to begin the position. 

When I started in the admin team I was very unsure of myself and hated answering the telephone so much that I avoided it for eight months!

However, with the support of the team, I learnt new skills and started to grow in confidence and self-esteem. A year later, when a paid position came up in the same team – I applied for the job and was successful.

I have now been Trustee Liaison Administrator for a year and I really love my job – the environment is always supportive and the tasks varied. Every now and then I help out on Reception and don’t give answering the phone a second thought! I honestly believe that it is only because of the kindness and patience of the WECIL staff that I have blossomed.”

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Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living @BrilLiving
Untold Stories: Disability, Mental Health, Migration & Activism in #Bristol
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