Part of Capital Volunteers Lewisham's remit is to work with individuals with a variety of mental health issues to find them work volunteering. Frequently individuals lack the confidence or assurance to make the first step. We were asked by Capital Volunteers and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, to devise a creative workshop to gently challenge them, to the end of gaining more self assurance and confidence to express themselves.
The three 2-hour sessions used a variety of, successively more challenging, drama and storytelling games and exercises to build on each individual's skill and confidence to express themselves both creatively and socially. Each workshop produced a small performance based upon the stories, experiences, feelings and opinions of the participants.
At the beginning of the first workshop participants were very nervous and uncomfortable about speaking and taking part. As the workshops went on exercises and games encouraged participants to laugh together, not be afraid of making mistakes and show interest and pride in what they each had to say. Overall participants took steps to change aspects of their lives as a result of feeling more like themselves, useful, assured and happy. TheWholeStory have since run another set of Confidence Builder workshops and developed, with some of the first students, a presentation to promote the benefits of volunteering and the workshop. We have also been commissioned to run similar workshops for New Horizons, which is part of South London and Maudsley NHS.