My name is Jade and I am a volunteer Peer Educator with LANDED, I’d like to tell you a bit about my experience over the past two years volunteering there.
"LANDED is a place for any young person from Lanarkshire who wants to learn about harm reduction, drugs, sexual health, meet new people and make new friends."
Before joining LANDED I met with one of the staff members Mairi for a chat, she helped me to understand exactly what was involved. Meeting Mairi, she was positive and made me feel excited to start - the opportunity sounded right up my street. I found out about Youth Achievement Awards, which is a qualification that could help me get a place at college, university or even work in the future. and that I would have the chance to complete one if I wanted to.
I have been involved with LANDED for almost two years now and have developed amazing relationships with all the staff and other volunteers. LANDED has provided me with a safe place to go that I can receive support, guidance and create fun memories, at LANDED I feel safe to share my experiences and be myself.
I have learned so much about Sexual Health, Cannabis, Tobacco, Drugs, Alcohol & Sexting and through learning about these topics, I have developed my team working skills, confidence, communication and self-awareness. All of the volunteers get the opportunity to learn about these topics and we help to create and develop resources for use in Lanarkshire so other young people can learn about them too. We are so good at this that even other organisations want to come and speak to us and hear our opinion on resources they are making for young people. There’s a great feeling you get when people want our views, it makes us feel valued and listened to.
"There’s a great feeling you get when people want our views, it makes us feel valued and listened to."
Every year, a few of us get to be on the LANDED management board for the organisation, this gives the volunteers the opportunity to tell the board what we have been working on and what we have found enjoyable and also gives us the opportunity to express any concerns we might have about the volunteering role. To be on the board for LANDED all the young people nominate two people and is approved by staff and all volunteers. This year, I was the chosen and I have enjoyed this very much, I get to learn how a board operates and what is involved in creating an organisation. There are things at the board meetings I do not always understand but having the relationships I do with staff means I am more comfortable asking for help when I don’t get something so that I am able to learn as much as I can.
After my time is up with LANDED which will be coming up soon I will be moving on to go to university hopefully to study Community Education, since volunteering here I have developed relationships that have shaped and influenced me in life. So I want to support young people the way that LANDED has been there for me.
"LANDED is not a service designed to specifically support people with experiences of trauma or mental health issues but they just get it. They treat me like a person..."
LANDED is not a service designed to specifically support people with experiences of trauma or mental health issues but they just get it. They treat me like a person, they do things for me because they want to not because they need to and are getting paid. They understand about life’s difficulties and are able to show empathy and compassion in an individual way to each volunteer. They are like family.
LANDED is a place for any young person from Lanarkshire who wants to learn about harm reduction, drugs, sexual health, meet new people and make new friends.
- This blog post was written LANDED volunteer by Jade Kilkenny March 2020