Daniel's* experience of volunteering with the BLF

I joined the BLF in 2017 after I was invited to volunteer at Head Office and attended a number of different BLF events and meetings. I have seen both the BLF and Hestia grow in this time and I am proud knowing that I am part of the growth.

Key things that I have done with the BLF are being on interview panels, doing inspections, attending AGMS, and giving our views in meetings. In my time at BLF I have got more confident and I have a better understanding now about what coproduction is and what it needs to be successful.

Doing inspections and helping to get feedback from other service users I have learnt what they need and how to give them service to support their needs. Another thing that I was able to do was walk at the London Pride parade with Gayle (Director of Operations) as part of Hestia. I like that we can speak to the directors and they listen to us.

In the BLF meetings everyone has equality and opportunities to speak. My favourite part of the BLF is meeting new people and helping others. What has been difficult through Covid is not being able to go into the office.

In Head Office I know everyone, its somewhere I belong and feel safe. I am looking forward to it being safe enough for me to return. I have been part of the BLF so long it feels like family.