I found out about the opportunity to come to Coventry on a volunteer’s exchange programme through ARSP (Action Reconciliation Service for Peace) while at school in Poland.

ASRP is an international volunteering programme and the 12-month placement appealed to me because it gave me the chance to go abroad, help people, and experience life outside London, as all the other programmes seemed to be there. I’d never been to the UK and I liked the way Coventry and Warwickshire Mind helps people with mental health problems, even though it’s not something I’ve really experienced before so it was an opportunity for me to learn something new and help others in need.

I started in September 2016 and it’s the longest I’ve been away from home so far, although I’ve spent three months in Italy previously and have gone back home at Christmas and Easter during my exchange programme in Coventry.

Volunteering for Coventry and Warwickshire Mind has shown me how tough life can be for people with mental health problems while teaching me more about myself. I manage my own money, cook and clean. My English has come on a great deal and am much more independent.

What I love most about volunteering is making someone’s day just a little bit brighter, even if it’s nothing major, to see them happy. Volunteering for Coventry and Warwickshire Mind has made me want to do more volunteering once I leave.