Hello everyone and welcome to this month’s blog!
Today I want to talk to you about the place I volunteer at The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham and how it has helped my mental health. The Junk Food Project is a global network of Pay As You Feel concepts with the aim to abolish surplus food. A fun fact about food waste is that on average we each waste 1000 Turkeys a year!
I found out about this project through a friend who is sadly no longer with us and I miss her lots. I’ve done various volunteering roles before but I have a real passion for food and being healthy! I’m not vegetarian but I do really like the vegetarian options we offer at the Real Junk Food Project which really shows their motto of “feeding bellies not bins”.
I’m really grateful what this project has given me, my friends and the customers and I would like to give a few reasons why my volunteering role with the Junk food project has helped with my mental health. With this illness there are some hard days where I struggle to get motivated but on days I volunteer it’s given me determination to keep going because seeing customers smile and get really excited about what we have on offer. Also like hockey working as a team and making long lasting friendships I feel its somewhere I belong and has given me the passion to look forward instead of back!
Another reason why I want to talk about mental health is because I feel sometimes people are afraid to talk about it. I’ve asked a few people to give their thoughts on mental health…
“I’m a Midland Mencap sports volunteer, joining hockey sessions every week. I know that if a player sprains their ankle, for example, it is easy to say – I can’t come this week because I’ve sprained my ankle. But many people would find it harder to say – I can’t come this week because I feel a bit down. That’s because there can be a taboo around mental health. I think it is really important, if you are feeling down or anxious, to be able to say so and ask for support.” -Jenny, Midland Mencap Sports Volunteer-
“Looking into the Future and thriving to be a better version of myself” -The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham Attendee-
I went through something terrible and without volunteering, hockey and other people it kept me going. I suffer with it but I’m not afraid to face it now! If you are reading this and feel you are suffering with mental health just know that there are understanding people out there that will listen and I defiantly recommend Volunteering! Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more in the new year!