Some time ago Mustard Tree helped me out with food, a sleeping bag and clothes after a period of homelessness. This gave me the idea of getting involved so that I could help others in a similar situation.

Since joining the project I have found that I’ve also received help and support as a volunteer. Being around people who’ve had an understanding of my mental health issues from the start has helped me to rebuild my life. The support and advice I’ve received at Mustard Tree during my on-going battle with mental ill-health has really helped me, as has meeting others with similar problems who have managed to struggle through.

Part way through my volunteering at Mustard Tree I was admitted to hospital as a result of my mental health issue. Being able to return to volunteering after this was an enormous help to me. I’ve also been able to access counselling through the project, which has helped me to explore my issues and is giving me the tools I need to get back on track. Throughout my time at Mustard Tree, the staff have shown tremendous belief in my capabilities. This has been another good source of encouragement and strength.

Before I began volunteering on the Freedom Project I had a deep-rooted fear of new situations, and of being around crowds and new people. My experiences at Mustard Tree have helped me to overcome that fear. I have also greatly increased my confidence with day to day tasks and living. Things that I would choose to hide away from previously, I now tackle with confidence. In turn, this has boosted my self-esteem and my belief that I can achieve goals that previously didn’t seem possible. Specifically, I have now enrolled on a university degree course, something I didn’t envisage doing before.

As a result of taking part in the Freedom Project, my aspirations have grown and been transformed massively. My main goal now is to complete my degree, which I never would have started before joining the Freedom Project. I would also like to have continued involvement with Mustard Tree in some way. Personally, I have also increased in confidence regarding my own ideas, and I am continually working towards beating my mental health problems.

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