In celebration of Volunteer Week (1-7 June), Praxis Care held their annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony in The Elk Complex, Toomebridge on 31st May. This annual event is an opportunity for Praxis Care to acknowledge the commitment and great work their volunteers do in their local communities to support people who feel socially isolated or lonely as a result of their mental ill health.
The theme of the event was “BODY IMAGE – HOW WE THINK AND FEEL ABOUT OUR BODIES” an adaption from Mental Health Awareness Week in May. The Mental Health Foundation says: “Body image is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies. Our thoughts and feelings about our bodies can impact us throughout our lives, affecting, more generally, the way we feel about ourselves and our mental health and wellbeing”.
Guest Speaker Deirdre Chestnutt, Unique Personal Stylist & Blogger and Andy Mayhew, Praxis Care Chief Executive, presented long service awards to volunteers for their commitment to volunteering with Praxis Care and working towards empowering adults with mental ill health, learning disability, or acquired brain injury to enjoy everyday living, irrespective of the complexity of their needs. Special thanks to Deirdre, The Elk Complex, Lush, Movie House, Lidl, Tesco, Boots, Glenview Trophies and NI Water (refillution day – 19 June) who supported us in providing goody bags for everyone and spot prizes.
Deirdre stressed the importance of “looking after your mental health on a daily basis. Having a negative body image is like having a 24/7 critic in your head. The critic is a harsh, derogatory narrative that makes nasty comments about you. The big key to changing negative body image is to kill the critic, and learn self-acceptance. This means accepting yourself as you are…who you were created to be. Only look back to see how far you have come.”
Praxis Care volunteers help to reduce the social isolation people can experience due to mental ill health and the associated stigma. Volunteers can help to reduce the risk of suicide, help to minimise the feeling of isolation, reduce pressure on families, and help to alleviate poor health and the risk of hospital admission.
The Magherafelt scheme offers a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved in the work of Praxis Care as well as offering valuable support for people affected by mental illness.
Jo MacOscar, Magherafelt’s Befriending Co-ordinator said “Volunteers come to our Organization for different reasons e.g recently retired, redundancy, more free time, gain more experience etc, but they all have the same desire to help someone else and meet new people, giving them a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Over the years our volunteers have supported many people in our community who are isolated and lonely due to their mental ill health. In turn volunteers are given guidance, training, travel expenses and ongoing support.
If you would like more information on volunteering with Praxis Care, please contact Jo MacOscar on 02879634488, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 14 Sandy Grove, Magherafelt.Share with ....