It's Volunteers' Week! Our volunteers make a huge difference to our work – read about how Daria got involved as a Digital Volunteer below!
Having been a financial accountant for most of my career, I am great with numbers, meeting deadlines and being caught up in a constant rush. One morning on the way to my office in the City, I bumped into an old friend who looked very content to say the least. We randomly started chatting about healthy lifestyles and diets, after which we agreed to meet some time soon. Little did I expect to receive a message after a few hours, saying: “I cannot meet you; I have an eating disorder and I believe that us talking about diets will affect my recovery journey. You cannot really understand.”
Being deeply saddened about the fact that my friend had felt like they could not share their deep thoughts and emotions with me, I started thinking about ways of helping those who would find my empathy and enthusiasm as a form of sanctuary, a safe place to release the pain and dark thoughts caused by suffering. There is no way of spotting the signs of eating disorders and mental health in people as easily as some may think. I felt that I was more than “just” an accountant but someone who was really passionate about helping others and understanding their pain.
Without a doubt, I knew that Beat was the perfect place for me to share my passion for helping those who wanted to be heard, a place that would candidly appreciate my commitment and share my views. The amount of support I have been receiving from my advisers and mentors at Beat from the very beginning has only confirmed that I am at the right place, with the right people to work and share the purpose with. At Beat, there has never been any place for judgement nor lack of understanding, which has made each one of my volunteering shifts feel sincerely appreciated, acknowledged and, in a nutshell, special! There is nothing that feels more rewarding to me than receiving a “thank you, you have really helped me today”, but also productive advice and feedback I receive from my supervisors after each shift.
Since I started volunteering for Beat, I have been able to apprehend more the importance of contributing to the community and helping a cause. Moreover, it feels really great that my work and efforts are greatly appreciated and acknowledged by my co-workers. For me, being selfless in this way has certainly evoked a rather gratifying feeling of satisfaction and self-accomplishment. I have learned how to listen better which has furthermore increased my self-confidence and personal growth by communicating more efficiently with people around me. In addition, I have developed a deeper sense of empathy and patience, and I am more understanding of other peoples’ needs which has, with the great support of my Beat colleagues, resulted in, well, making a difference! I really hope to continue volunteering for Beat for years to come and making a meaningful contribution to those who need our help.