After leaving the RAF Stan faced significant challenges which threatened his mental well-being. Stan has worked hard to overcome these challenges by engaging with a variety of volunteering opportunities and we couldn’t be more proud of him. It is a privilege to work with inspirational people like Stan and we hope his story will act as encouragement to others #WorldMentalHealthDay #EveryMindMatters
Cooking with confidence
Our Volunteer Project Manager first met Stan, an ex RAF Chef, in January 2017 when he was living in supported accommodation for British Armed Forces Veterans. He was drinking heavily to enable him to function and although he was capable of doing some voluntary cooking at the accommodation this eventually came to an end as his alcohol consumption increased.
In June 2018 Stan’s drinking became more controlled, he felt he was ready to consider volunteering again so contacted Step Together Volunteering for some support; with encouragement he soon began volunteering with a local charitable cafe, both cooking at their drop in cafe and helping on their allotment. Later in the month he also got involved with volunteering for a local archaeology project; here Stan helped with the cleaning and re-chalking a chalk hill figure as well as a Neolithic ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition!
In the last few months Stan has been helping the cafe with renovations to their new premises and has also started cooking at a homeless hostel.
Stan feels that the volunteering really helps him as it keeps him occupied while he isn’t well enough to work; he really enjoys using his cooking skills for the good of the local community.
Stan said of the support he has received from Step Together Volunteering:
“You are treated as an individual and they give you the confidence to be part of a group again.”