When I first started suffering from mental health issues I was a trailer fitter, I’d been in the job for four years, and gradually noticed that things weren’t right, one thing led to another and eventually I lost my job.
Shortly after this I officially got diagnosed as bipolar. I was out of work, feeling lost and looking for something to focus on, my mum told me about Mayfield Nurseries – so after a while of thinking about it, I came in and checked the place out, it was the best thing I did. I explained to the team that I suffered from mental health issues, and enquired about volunteering opportunities, that was nine years ago! I’ve not looked back…
It was a big step to go somewhere new, as I also suffer with anxiety, but I got welcomed into the team immediately, and as soon as I started coming in to Mayfield on a regular basis I was grateful for routine and structure it added to my days, it was a distraction from everything else going on.
Coming to Mayfield regularly to volunteer made me happy, it was great to get on with work and learn something new. I was building on skills I already had and making new friends, it really boosted my confidence. I’ve been at Mayfield for nine years now and when I look back, I realise how much I’ve overcome to get to this point, but it’s good! I’ve gone from volunteering, to peer support (working with other participants, connecting and guiding through lived experience) to a fully-fledged member of staff – I’m now Junior horticulturalist.
It’s been a gradual process, but Mayfield has helped me in a so many ways, it’s enabled me find new coping strategies, allowing me to manage my illness better. There’s no doubt that working here is therapeutic, you’re given work to do, things to focus on, but it’s all done at your pace and there’s so much fun involved too!
I count Mayfield as my ‘safe space’, it feels like my other home. Once you get to know to the place you understand how supportive it is, I feel secure here.Back to all news Become a member