Working at the MHA Trust can be challenging for anyone who has no knowledge of the charity industry or retail work. I come from a financial background, so learning new skills has been a challenge for me however, it has been an enjoyable experience. The staff are great and customers too. Everyone is so friendly and eager to help and support this cause. It has been a great help too after so long out of employment. I know being here will help me make choices for my future career. I have been at the MHA Trust now for 3 years I enjoy my position here and am not ready to leave. It will be a sad day when I do.
Trainee Shop & Stock Room Assistant
I found out about the Mental Health Activity Trust when I was homeless and came in to access their soup kitchen. I am open about my experience of homelessness because by doing so I believe I can give other people in the same situation hope for the future. With the help and support of the MHA Trust I have gone from from volunteering on the shop floor to train as a trainee assistant manager. Volunteering here has allowed me to meet new people and socialise despite living with anxiety, and to learn new skills. My goal is to find employment that I will enjoy but also to give back to this organisation, which has greatly helped me. I thank Toni Hale for giving me a chance.
Trainee Assistant Shop Manager (Part Time)
I am unable to work full time due to having osteoarthritis and so I enjoy working at the MHA Trust and lending my skills to the charity. It gives me a purpose that’s also giving back to the community and those in need of help and support. Having experienced mental health problems in the past I can empathise with those who currently experience these issues and I enjoy giving my time and support in aid of a great cause.
I have been volunteering with MHA Trust since May 2017, doing social media marketing, research, writing blogs and assorted admin tasks. Despite having two degrees and a fair amount of employment experience a severe mental health crisis in 2012 leading to a diagnosis of a long term mental health condition meant that I had to stop paid work to focus on my recovery. The thought of finding employment in keeping with my needs after a long gap was daunting so when a friend told me how MHA Trust helped her find a job I was keen to find out more about them. MHA Trust is helping me to build confidence to pursue self-employment as a designer, and part-time employment. It’s a great place to get used to being in a work environment while being supported by Toni Hale the director and the other volunteers here. While there is an expectation of professional standards and conduct there is also understanding of how I sometimes need extra support. Since starting to volunteer here I have been involved in a large art and design fair where I sold my work and I am actively seeking part-time employment that will fit around my recovery and creative endeavours. I recommend the MHA Trust highly!
Trainee Marketing and media Assistant
I found out about The Mental Health Activity Trust when I popped into the shop in passing. I was interested in what it does as at the time I was working in the mental health and housing field. I chatted with Toni and was impressed by her vision, passion and what she has created with the charity. She’d been doing it for about 2 years at that point. I kept popping in, mainly to chat to Toni, and eventually shared my own history of mental health problems and offered to help.
After filling out an application I started working two shifts a week but initially that was too much as I was also working, so I reduced it to one shift per week. Now I have retired I plan, after taking some time off, to give more of my time to the organisation. I always look forward to coming here and find it therapeutic to be here and help out cleaning and organising things in the shop.
I have only been at the MHA Trust a short time however, in that time I have found the MHA Trust to have a great environment, comfortable and caring. Not just from staff but from customers too. People are always willing to help and support the cause. I really enjoy working here and working with the staff. However, am hoping to find full time employment very soon. I am still finding my feet to decide what career path I would like to take and the MHA Trust have been instrumental in helping me find possible suitable career paths.
Trainee Shop Assistant
I live locally and had seen The Mental Health Activity Trust around for years. I retired last year and wanted to volunteer. I decided to give time to the Mental Health Activity Trust as my son has Asperger’s Syndrome and I thought it might be a good place for him to volunteer in future. What I like about MHA Trust is the non-judgemental atmosphere here. It is peaceful, with a real family atmosphere. I love meeting the variety of people who work here, and the fact that they are all encouraged to be themselves. As a carer, volunteering for The Mental Health Activity Trust has actually helped my own mental and emotional well-being. I hope that in time my son will also find a place here where he can be himself, learn new skills and meet new friends.
I started out getting help at the MHA Trust with my CV and since then have given back by volunteering in the shop. I work part time doing admin and teaching Italian. However, when I volunteer at the MHA Trust I also prepare us all a balanced healthy meal, as this might be the chance some people get to eat properly. It’s great to eat together and socialise. It can be quite isolating when you live on your own, so being here is a great opportunity to meet new interesting people.
Trainee Shop Assistant
I found out about the Mental Health Activity Trust through a neighbour, who also volunteers here. I have been volunteering with the organisation for about a month and find it incredibly helpful. Toni, the Director, and my colleagues here have given me a lot of help with managing my Bipolar symptoms, and offer emotional support when needed.
Coming to MHA Trust is a way for me to learn new skills, meet new people and stay out of trouble! In future I want to find full-time employment. At the moment volunteering here is a stepping stone towards that goal.
Trainee Stock Assistant
I was referred to The Mental Health Activity Trust and have been volunteering here for six to seven weeks. I also lead the arts and crafts class run by MHA Trust. I have Asperger’s, and volunteering here allows me the opportunity to do things independently, at my own pace. Toni and my other colleagues here understand me, which helps. What I get from volunteering here is peace of mind.
Trainee Arts & Crafts Tutor
My time at the MHA Trust has helped me in ways I thought it couldn’t. I came here to volunteer from school and continue to work here to give back and help in anyway I can. I’m not afraid to speak out with my views and opinions and it’s good to see some of my ideas get put into practice. I am a very busy full time student studying for my A levels however, I still have time and want to help out.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
Having a background in charity media management as well as having experienced mental health problems, when I came across Toni’s fantastic concept of a mental health charity which supports those in need and back into employment I thought I’d struck gold! I’m passionate about supporting the cause with my media skills and in any way I can help, because I really believe in the charity’s work. I really enjoy my job at the MHA Trust which enables me to give back to help those in need. Crucially, I also gain unlimited support personally, both emotionally and socially and with getting back to work. I love working here.
Trainee Media & Marketing Assistant
I came to the MHA Trust by a recommendation of a friend. I thought it may help me to communicate better with new people. It has been quite difficult at times but I do enjoy it. I have met lots of people now and I am increasing my self esteem which in turn helps build my confidence.
Trainee Stock Room Assistant