How volunteering kept me going during the pandemic

One of our founding partners, Rethink Mental Illness, provides the Advice and Information Service (RAIS) – a helpline that offers practical help with a range of topics, as well as advising people affected by mental illness of their rights, helping them identify their options and empowering them to take action. Supporting the small team of staff (Advice and Information Officers) who run the service, is a large team of volunteers who equip people with the information they need to get the right help. Together, the RAIS volunteers and staff make an invaluable contribution to the service.


Our colleague Charlotte started volunteering for RAIS throughout 2020. Being the tough year that it was, she played a significant role in adapting the service during the pandemic, supporting contacts who got in touch and directing more complex queries onto the Advice and Information Officers. Charlotte showed incredible commitment – giving her time and supporting others during a period when many people were feeling the impact of the pandemic.

In August 2020, her dedication was rewarded as she was offered full time employment by RAIS as an Advice and Information Officer. However, she looks back on her time as a volunteer fondly, acknowledging that it was this period that really shaped her outlook, supported her own wellbeing, and enrichened her experience.

"There are not enough words to describe how much I enjoyed my time as a volunteer. My experience was an eye-opening and positive one to say the least. I learnt new information and skills, helped other people and really got to understand how mental health affects people on a day-to-day basis.

When I applied to volunteer at Rethink Mental Illness’ Advice and Information Service, I did not think I would be volunteering during a global pandemic. However, if anything positive has come out of this crisis for me it would be my volunteering role. It showed me how much this service is needed, now more than ever, and how you can have a big impact on someone else’s life. Even just by having a 10-minute chat.

Volunteering has also helped me to keep going during this pandemic. It has had a positive impact on my own wellbeing and kept me busy during a scary time."

– Charlotte Ramdat

Your donation will make the difference

Just £10 could help pay for a call to our advice and information line, supporting someone living with mental illness who may be feeling in distress during this time.

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