Making a difference – Layla’s story

My name is Layla Nolan and I’m a trainee curtain-maker at The Sewing Rooms. I started volunteering here one day a week in July 2013 in the hope that it would help to improve the depression and severe anxiety that I’d been struggling with for a number of years.

Over time I was finding that it was becoming harder and harder to do even small, simple tasks if it meant that I had to speak to people or leave the house – these things had become almost impossible for me and life was rapidly passing me by. The Community Mental Health team suggested that volunteering may help and although I was absolutely terrified at the prospect, I decided to apply.

During my time here, my mood and self-esteem have noticeably improved. I’ve started to enjoy learning again instead of feeling the crippling fear and anxiety that I used to feel when faced with a new situation. For the first time, I feel able to manage my illness.

I actually look forward to each day now and am building a wide range of practical skills. This is due in no small part to the fantastic staff and the people who work here. Everyone has been so patient, understanding and supportive. Volunteering here has helped me find my feet again and I am so grateful that there was a place like this that I could become involved with, as I have absolutely no doubt that without it, I would still be trapped at home.

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