06 March 2024

From seeking help to providing it: Diane's volunteer journey


When did your challenges with alcohol begin?

"I didn't start drinking alcohol until I was 57, when I started struggling with my mental health. I got overwhelmed with everything, and my go-to was having a drink at night. This quickly progressed from a couple of drinks a night through to 24-hour drinking."

As Diane’s drinking escalated, she booked an appointment with her GP, who recommended that she get in contact with our service. Since working alongside WithYou, Diane no longer felt the need to drink.

As part of her recovery, Diane enquired about volunteering and soon completed her training to become a fully-fledged member of the team.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

"My favourite thing about volunteering is that it's great to give other people the help that they need when they want it - to be able to listen and understand what they’re going through. When you stop drinking, the anxieties you can experience are horrendous. So, having somebody else be able to listen and have empathy with that is really good. Being able to volunteer is just marvellous - I love every minute of it."

But Diane didn’t stop at volunteering - alongside this, she went back to college to study for a counselling qualification, which has led her to pursue a foundation degree! She also works as a mental health support worker and continues to regularly help out at WithYou.

Diane, what advice do you have for potential volunteers?

"If you are thinking about becoming a volunteer, just go for it. I'd encourage you all the way. Everyone at WithYou is very supportive."