Over the years, as a pastoral care volunteer, enabler, and friend, I have journeyed alongside others through their experiences of the highs and lows of life, often involving their own, or their children’s mental health issues and additional needs, and as a parent myself, there have of course been personal battles and struggles.
As a trained Listener, I passionately believe that everyone deserves their story and their feelings to be heard and acknowledged, so when I was invited to get involved with Parent + I jumped at the chance to listen and support the whole person, to enable people not to be reduced to the separate roles they are sometimes perceived as by agencies – “parent”, “caregiver” or “advocate”. I am continually awed by the strength and encouragement that people journeying together can find and offer one another.
Every person in the world has their own story. Attentive listening can be the most healing experience a person can have. For people to feel their story is heard is transforming; to be privileged to hear their story is a gift. For me, as a volunteer, Parent+ has given me the opportunity to make a difference in an otherwise closed-down world.
After being made redundant in the first lockdown, I wanted to use my extra
time to give back to the community, and also keep myself busy! Offering my support and time to Parental Minds was by no doubt as beneficial to me as it was to them. Sarah has been a wonderfully supportive mentor, and it makes me very happy to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause.
Jack Gunns is a multi-talented and highly creative designer with a degree in ‘Industrial Design’. Finding creative solutions, knowledge of programs and a natural flair for illustration are my strengths.
Having worked internationally in diverse roles including Team Leader on ICS programs in Ghana & Teaching EFL in Shanghai. Currently working as a Graphic Designer for Barton Willmore and freelancing in logo & illustration.
Simon Anderson is a professional website content writer/editor and SEO expert, based near Exeter, Devon. He has 18 years experience in writing for the web and other Internal Communications skills. Since February 2019, Simon has been working as Site Review UK, using his professional skills to optimise the online content of small businesses and organisations across the UK. He’s been particularly busy during the Covid-19 pandemic and has helped proof-read some of our resources.