23 February 2023

Winter can be a difficult time of year when moods run low and anxiety starts to take over. At YMCA Exeter we regularly encourage our young people to think about the ‘5 steps to wellbeing’ – one of these key steps is ‘give to others’.

Almost three months ago, YMCA Exeter resident Jade Rowden started ‘giving to others’ by volunteering at the British Heart Foundation. She’s loving her new role serving customers at the till and can’t believe how much it’s changed her.

“I love the team that I work with,’ Jade laughs, “they’re all crazy and that’s perfect for me. 

“I used to just be stuck in my room, with my depressing thoughts, but now everyday I look forward to going to volunteer” Jade explains, as she sits painting her nails. “It’s helped me to think about my hygiene and general appearance, plus having the structure of the day has helped me stick to my eating schedule.”

Due to some medical concerns, Jade didn’t think she’d be able to to work again, but thanks to the help of a stick, she is walking almost a mile home from work everyday, and is now set to take part in Exeter’s Community Mile as part of the Great West Run in May. If you’d like to join Jade and others taking part in the fundraising walk, sign up today.

Acts of giving and kindness could be as simple as saying thank you to someone or they could be a more long-term volunteering commitment like Jades. If you’re local to Exeter, come and have a chat with us about volunteering opportunities at YMCA Exeter. Otherwise take a look at Do-it.org for volunteering opportunities across the country.