I first became aware of Yellow Door in the summer that I moved home after completing my undergraduate degree. I was adamant that I wanted to get involved with charitable work before starting my Masters’ at Southampton in the September of that year. After finding Yellow Door’s website and learning about the vast array of volunteering opportunities that they offer, I was certain that Yellow Door represented a brilliant opportunity for me to help make a difference, while also gaining valuable work experience skills.
The range of services that Yellow Door provides means that there are various ways that volunteers can help contribute to a fantastic service that no doubt changes the lives of its’ service users, for the better. After meeting with Ann-Marie (the lovely volunteer coordinator at Yellow Door), I decided that I was keen to volunteer with the Domestic Abuse team. Domestic abuse an issue that has personally affected me, and the chance to be able to help others who have been impacted was galvanizing.
As part of volunteering with the Domestic Abuse team, I was involved in co-facilitating a psychoeducational course called Pattern Changing. Vicky and Amelia (who make up most of the DA team) are both wonderful and clearly passionate about what they do, so the training for this was engaging and informative. My role was to support Vicky in delivering the psychoeducational course, to a strong and diverse group of women who had all experienced at least one past abusive relationship. Each week of the course covers a different emotional or behavioural coping strategy, with the goal of enabling relearning harmful past behaviours and beliefs that may have kept the women stuck in a cycle of abuse. The underlying message of the course was one of empowerment. It was heart warming to be able to contribute to a service that so clearly has a powerful positive impact on the lives of women who use it. It was amazing to see, week after week, the women form bonds with each other and grow in confidence. Aiding in the facilitation of the course has provided me with so many potent memories, as well as developing my experience working with people, which will undoubtedly help with my future career development.