I have developed in many ways through volunteering at SOAR

Shafaz has been volunteering for SOAR for almost 4 years. Shafaz started off as a client via the Health Trainer programme during which she attended a 12 week healthy eating course delivered by Thaira Fiaz and myself Somshun Nessa. The course increased her knowledge in Health & Nutrition and it helped increase her confidence in turn making her more sociable. After making many positive changes in her lifestyle, she went on to attending the Introduction to Community Development and Health Course (ICDH) which she completed successfully and obtained certificate.

With her newly found confidence and self-esteem, Shafaz wanted to give something back to her local community and become a Practice Champion for SOAR and volunteered for the Chronic Pain Support Group and Women’s Only Support group. Shafaz recently volunteered for International Women’s Day and took lead in delegating tasks to 6 other volunteers. Shafaz is now a volunteer at the new Springboard Café at ACT and PACA and has also helped recruit members of the local community to volunteer. She is training to be a Sheffield Sports coach so that she can deliver her own sports classes such as badminton and tennis.

In the words of Shafaz
‘’One of the main reasons I wanted to volunteer at the Women’s only support group is that I felt there wasn’t much support for me when I had my breakdown. Reaching out to other people with similar experiences is highly rewarding. The most rewarding aspect is to see the change in the women who attend the group, whom have started with no confidence, reserved, scared and isolated, to now being more sociable, confident and become independent with some of the attendees moving on to education, volunteering and even full time work.

I have developed in many ways as a person through volunteering at SOAR. I started off as reserved and a nervous person and was very reluctant to trust anyone which made it difficult for me to socialise and integrate in society, I was isolated for many years and I stayed in the 4 walls of my home. After volunteering with SOAR I have gained my confidence back and self-worth and realised what a strong and valuable women I am. My confidence has grown so much I now volunteer 4 days a week. It gives me great pleasure meeting new people and being able to help make someone’s life a little better.

I would highly volunteering recommend SOAR, as I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.’’