Joining Hertfordshire Mind Network for my placement year was one of the best decisions I've made. I was unsure what I wanted to do and had enjoyed charity work at university, after some research I decided HMN would be perfect to volunteer with due to my preexisting interest in mental health.

I have been volunteering with the marketing team since September 2018 which has involved many different projects, such as Red January, social media campaigns and research into local businesses and charities to work with.

Volunteering has given me valuable experience in so many ways. It has helped to boost my confidence both when interacting with clients and reaching out to local businesses. I have gained a clearer understanding of how charities operate behind the scenes whilst also discovering that charity work is something I would like to come back to when I have finished with university.

The training and experience I have received has been invaluable, I have been able to apply the things I have learnt from university whilst also learning from the marketing team. I was able to attend Spot the Signs suicide prevention training, the skills from this course can work both in the workplace as well as in my personal life, allowing me to support friends or family that might be struggling.

HMN are very flexible and supportive of their volunteers which makes them perfect if you have a busy lifestyle but still want to help in the limited free time you might have. This has helped me so much due to some health issues that I have experienced, HMN have been so flexible and supportive of me. They care as much for their staff and volunteers as much as their clients, everyone within the charity create such a supportive environment which can be so reassuring when you are getting started.

If you are looking to make a difference or want to help others then HMN would be the perfect place to start. They can tailor your volunteering to a schedule that suits you as they greatly appreciate any help that you can offer. In return, you can receive training, build bonds and the feeling of knowing you have helped both a charity as well as the clients they support