I am super excited to be lending a helping hand to the incredible Blurt Alert Foundation tonight at Manchester Trafford Centre! Blurt Alert Foundation are an incredible mental health charity who work hard to offer help, support and guidance to those who are suffering from various mental health conditions. They run a fabulous, informative blog (which you can find here!), they hosting amazing Twitter Chats on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, they have lots of useful resources for people who are struggling, and they also have an incredible monthly subscription box called ‘The Buddy Box’, which you can purchase as a one-off, or on a monthly basis! You can also choose from their normal-sized Buddy Boxes (£21.50) or their Lite Buddy Boxes (£12.00)! You can find out more here!
At The Trafford Centre tonight, we will have a lovely little set-up outside of Boots, where people can come for a nice chat with a member of the team, get to know what Blurt does, open up about mental health and find out what resources are available to you! We will be there between 4 pm and 10 pm so do feel free to come and say hello and have a chat with us about absolutely anything you like! The environment will be relaxed and calm, you will be made to feel super welcome and you can stay and chat for as long as you like! On top of offering our company, we will also be running giveaways and competitions as well as other fun activities for you to take part in! So please do not be shy, come to The Trafford Centre, enjoy the student event and grab yourself some bargains, and come and say hello to me, the other wonderful volunteers and of course The Blurt Alert team.
After the Event!
I cannot explain how much I enjoyed volunteering for Blurt tonight! As I was making my way to the event, I was so nervous about talking with people about mental health face-to-face, as I am so used to doing it from behind my computer screen…However as soon as I arrived, I was greeted by Nick, a fundraiser for Blurt, and another volunteer called Rachael. Nick was super friendly and welcoming and I and Rachael were soon chatting away about how we came across Blurt and what made us want to volunteer; before I knew it, we were non-stop talking and it soon felt as though we had known each other for a long time!
We handed out self-care goal cards to shoppers as well as asking multiple different stores if they would put some on their counters, I was able to bring some home with me which I am hoping to include with my bracelet orders as well as using them myself!
Many different people came over to our little area to chat with us about mental health and to get to know more about the amazing work that Blurt Foundation does!
Some people would come for a brief chat before taking a leaflet, entering our competition and leaving again, whereas others stayed to talk to us for quite some time! One young lady, Lauren, came over to chat with us about mental health, she recognised Blurt as she receives their monthly BuddyBoxes! After introducing ourselves and breaking the ice, Lauren began opening up to me and Nick about her struggles with mental health. I found myself sharing my own struggles with them too. This was a very heartwarming conversation as we discussed some of our lowest times, and compared them to where we are today! Lauren also told us about an incredible mental health society within her university that she is part of, they host various activities and events such as art therapy and poetry nights as well as giving out free care packages to students around exam times! I thought this was an absolutely brilliant idea that more universities should take up!
I really loved communicating with people about mental health face-to-face as it is completely different from talking to people online. For me, this event made me realise that mental health social work is definitely what I want to do. I have known for quite some time that I want to be a social worker, but have been stuck between wanting to work with children and families, or going down the mental health route.
I am currently in the process of applying for the incredible Think Ahead; a mental health social work training program! I am really hoping that this works out and that in July next year I can begin on my journey into social work.
This would be my absolute dream job. I have completed my three years at university, run my mental health blog for 18 months, recently passed my mental health awareness course and I am ready to move forward!
I do have backup plans if this does not go well for me, but I am hoping and praying that I will not have to turn to these!
I really enjoy working with a variety of people and listening to their experiences, I love being that person who they feel they can trust and rely on and I love knowing that I can make a difference to their lives… and that is what I want to do for the rest of my days.