Taking part in co-production during COVID-19

Written by BLF member Rick*

I was referred to Hestia by another charity organisation, The Salvation Army. In Hestia, I was developing my confidence and ability to better communicate with others. In April 2019 I joined the Better Lives Forum and became a member. I was volunteering at the office doing some administrative work, inspections both by phone and face-to-face with the service users.

After some time, I was assigned to an interview panel where I have interviewed people for different positions from, Directors to volunteers. This job gave me satisfaction, as I was able to help people and make difference.

The candidates that applied were qualified and knowledgeable in the area, I felt responsible to employ the best of the best for such a position. During my volunteering in the BLF, I have done more than 100 interviews.

It is an enjoyable task, where you learn a lot and grow mentally. One of the best memories with BLF I had is during our meals. There is nothing that can change that human interaction which gives you positivity and a sense of belonging. However, with Covid you need to learn to adapt. Our meetings are now held on Zoom and it is still nice to see everyone.

In the difficult times, I try to meditate or walk as both of the activities enhance your ability to think clearer. I would say being part of BLF and meeting new people gave me new opportunities in life.