Helping you to help others.

Simon says: the only negative to volunteering has been that there are not enough hours in the day and I would like to do more!


Here’s Simon with Robert Plant and Graham, two of the volunteer team at Jasmine Road Community Gardens, with the recently designed and erected chicken coop.

Simon came to live in Dudley to access specialised support for his gambling addiction. He wanted to meet people as he knew no one in the area and do something positive with his time, so his support worker put him in touch with the Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre. Simon had previously volunteered for a couple of years helping at a project in Brighton.

When Simon visited the Volunteer Centre, our team member learned more about the kinds of things he was interested in. Jasmine Road Community Gardens seemed like a very good match as they had a diverse team of volunteers that Simon could work with and the location was easy for Simon to get to. Our Volunteer Centre Officer signposted Simon to Jasmine Road Community Garden and he went along to an Open Day, met the team and started to volunteer there a few weeks later.

There have been lots of positives for Simon from his volunteering experience after he came out of 9 months of gambling rehabilitation. He has joined a friendly and diverse team of volunteers. Volunteering has made Simon feel more confident, boosted his self-esteem, given him a positive mental attitude and most important of all, he feels that he is giving something back. He has volunteered as part of his rehabilitation and been on a journey of self-discovery.

Simon said of his experience, “It’s a beautiful place to volunteer and there’s lots of work to do. Going there has been a breath of fresh air. It’s where my heart is at the moment and the only negative to volunteering has been that there are not enough hours in the day and I would like to do more!”

In fact, Simon has enjoyed his volunteering at Jasmine Road Community Gardens so much that he has now taken on two other volunteering roles. He never thought he would be supporting a young man with autism, but he now thoroughly enjoys making weekly visits to help support him.  His third role is with SOVA and he is currently going through the application process to train as a mentor to support young offenders. Simon’s role will involve visiting young offenders weekly and making sure they are ok, offering his support and signposting to other agencies if required. His life experience means he can use his own experiences to support others going through the same journey. Ultimately, he would like to find employment in this area.


Leave a Reply