I first found out about Healthwatch Sunderland while I was completing a course for people who are coping with brain injuries, so went along to meet Anna from the Engagement Team to see if being a Healthwatch Champion was for me.
It was, so I started volunteering with Healthwatch Sunderland in February 2017 and so far have taken part in some group activities at the Sunderland and North Durham Royal Society for the Blind, where I facilitated the explanation of the role of Healthwatch in our city and encouraged those present to give their feedback on services. I like meeting new people so hosting information stands at various venues, including health centres and community event gives me lots of opportunities to do this too.
I have taken advantage of the training opportunities which have been available to me since I stared and I am now a fully trained Enter and View volunteer and looking forward to taking part in my first activity.
Since February I feel my confidence has improved, I have new friends and I have been able to use the skills I have, but haven't used for a long time.
I also volunteer for NERAF, which is a local organisation who work with people who feel they may have a problem with alcohol and substance misuse. When I am not volunteering I enjoy looking after my grandchildren and spending time with my extended family.