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Zoe’s Story: Discovering a purpose in our community

Food boxes showing healthy foods
As I reflect on the past year, I gain a sense of gratitude for the experiences, celebrations and challenges that have shaped me whilst volunteering for the Food For All project (now Welcome and Access). Before I joined as a volunteer at Manchester Mind I was in a bit of a limbo. I had been searching for a purpose after a redundancy from my previous job. I had just moved to Manchester, and battled the aftermath of the pandemic. I didn’t feel grounded in life and I was in a very dark place, questioning my self-direction. Becoming a volunteer became my anchor during this uncertain period, it wasn’t just about filling the gap I had in my life; it was about discovering a new purpose and becoming part of a bright, positive and welcoming community.

Throughout my journey, there is so much I see within myself and others to celebrate. Witnessing the direct impact that our service and collective efforts make, leaves me with a sense of achievement. Supporting individuals throughout their own personal journeys has been profoundly rewarding. It’s not just a celebration of the project’s achievements; it’s the celebration of those individuals and their personal victories. I love being the familiar face to those attending the sessions, the ability to help so many people is brilliant. This sense of achievement has transformed me on a personal level. I’ve gained so much confidence in my abilities and feel incredibly supported by the rest of the team. The recognition of my potential motivates me, this then leads me to participate in additional training to improve my skills within the sessions. As a result, I have the confidence to support, aid and facilitate the group.

I have absolutely loved having the opportunity to meet new faces and create authentic bonds with different individuals. This adds such a dynamic element to my volunteering experience. Feeling valued within the team boosts my morale and has given back my sense of self. Having such support over this year has transformed me as a person, I am grateful for what this project has given me. As I look ahead I am excited about the possibilities. Every day presents new chances to make a difference, not just in the lives of others but in my own. Food For All has been more than just a volunteering experience, it’s been a transformative journey that has renewed my sense of direction, purpose and a deeper connection within myself and the community I serve.

Find out about our current volunteering opportunities.


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