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Volunteer Story - Lorna

My name is Lorna and I'm the resident Art Tutor for the Art for Anxiety group and volunteer researcher at Improving Lives. I have been with the charity for over 18 months now. When I decided to become a volunteer it was initially to take me out of the house, I was always quite reclusive and would take myself and “hide” away from reality when mental stimuli (and people) became too much for me to cope with and one way of de-stressing was to paint, draw, embellish clothing among a host of other artful pursuits, luckily for me, I have always (since a child) enjoyed creating different things.

One day I saw Improving Lives Facebook post looking for volunteers, I was in a dark place and getting worse as time went on, especially as I had spent the last few years caring for my dad whom passed away September 2022 and knew I had to do something quick or I would be in trouble, and I can honestly say it is the best decision I made.

After volunteering for a while, Dhyani (Co-Founder) asked if I would be interested in running an Art class on behalf of the charity, it did not take a lot of convincing I loved the idea of it.

So for me….. the way it has changed my outlook on certain things (including people) has been an experience (for the good) I always avoided people in the fact that familiarity breeds contempt, and I know that seems harsh but experience taught me otherwise, for probably the first real time in my life I have found a supportive, non-judgemental family I suppose and  I am the most comfortable around people for the first time in forever. I have found a place for myself here. I have made many new friends in my time here, and I feel like I have found my place in this world. I thank Dhyani, Kevin and everyone at Improving Lives for helping me live better for myself.

I would say to anyone interested in volunteering to just do it, we need more kindness and compassion in a world that is sorely lacking in these things.

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