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My name is Amanda.

Prior to coming to Involvement about three years ago I’d been in Recovery College to help with my mental health issues. My first tentative steps at the Involvement Centre were at an drop in morning. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I nervously sat down, but people soon started talking to me. They spoke of the opportunities to get involved and how it’s possible to influence change. At this stage I wasn’t well enough to do much, so I started going to Tuesday meetings eventually building confidence to join in and on occasions  give my experience. Over time, I’ve been involved with meetings and seen the changes that can be made, for example the Ideal Ward Round.

It’s still difficult for me, but when I’m in the right company I feel I can help.

It’s obvious that the NHS is struggling, there’s  no  getting away from the fact that services are under increasing pressure, but this is also where the service users and volunteers can help. I do believe we are a valuable resource for the NHS and hope to we continue to be.

I’m proud to be part of it in some small way. Yes, it can feel like hard work and “what’s the point?”, but there is a point; it’s to help, if we all work together to help nurture and improve services for all.

Follow our countdown to the NHS’s 70th birthday as we post a blog a day.

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