Hey, I’ve just joined HNG’s Stress Project as the Administrator. Starting any new project has its challenges and one of mine would be to cover Carol’s (the Stress Project’s Manager) holiday for a week. Covering a holiday, especially when you are new, is rather daunting and made me wonder how an understudy to a famous actor feels? How can I replace Sir Ian McKellan for tonight’s performance sprung to mind. Maybe I was being over dramatic. Most likely.
There’s always many new things to learn when starting a job, from the mundane of ‘where is the coffee’ and ‘what is the photocopier code’, to far more complicated procedures or confidentially issues. However, at the Stress Project there is all that and then some. For example, just learning what all the different keys are for is enough to give anyone a headache.
The Stress Project - from Mindfulness Meditation and Counselling to Shiatsu and Pain Management.
Over the first week or so I was getting my feet under the table dealt with a few small techie problems and other such issues. However, the time for Carol’s holiday had arrived, so it was sink or swim time. Carol had done a great job at providing the ‘rubber ring’ all I had to do was not burst it.
On Monday, I got to the Stress Project extra early making sure I had time to go through the proper opening-up procedures ahead of our renters arriving. All went swimmingly well - it’s simple I thought, everyone around me knows how things work and they simply get on with it. I’m just here to be friendly and provide support. All I need to do is follow the procedures put in place.
After spending most of Tuesday at the drop-in I begun to understand how the service works and gained a real sense of the importance to the local community that such services have - especially to people experiencing distress. I even got a lesson from a service user about the importance of communicating by smiling. Must remember that!
Thursday rolled around and the cavalry arrived – Damsyn (our office admin volunteer who has a seemingly unending bank of knowledge on all things Stress Project related) was came in! Great news, I had a few things to file that I couldn’t remember where to put and she would instantly know.
Overall, there were a few bumps in the road, but I’d been able to help with some client referrals and deal with people’s enquiries and I’d certainly enjoyed taking my lunch in the lovely garden at the Stress Project. Most importantly, I’d learnt how the whole project is really held together by our volunteers. Without them our whole provision would have to change and we wouldn’t be able to provide the much-needed services to the local community that we do. On a personal level I must give a special shout out to Damsyn, and Barbara for their support especially during the ‘holiday week’!
What next, oh yes the Gazebo needs putting up. Never a dull moment here!
If you’d like to volunteer at the Stress Project, please contact us on: