04 Aug Supported Volunteering visits the Sandy Hub
The Supported Volunteering Project were lucky enough to fit in two summer trips to the seaside this year. They say a good old gulp of sea air works wonders on people’s mental health and the supported volunteers who came along agreed.
Sea air is good for sleep because it is generally cleaner and fresher air, with higher levels of oxygen which can improve sleep and wellbeing. The sound of waves can be very soothing to the brain. If you relax, this can help clear the mind, lower stress levels and strengthen your immune system.
We rented a beach hut on East Beach in Shoeburyness, which has been fondly named ‘The Sandy Hub’. We wanted to offer a fresh and different experience to people in a safe place. We also wanted to challenge people to try something new, travel to places they wouldn’t normally go, and be sociable with people they have never met. I think we managed all of this and more.
We received some wonderful feedback from our Supported Volunteers……
“Thank you for organising such a nice day. I haven’t felt this chilled out in a long time”
“It was a very relaxing day with good company and a great social experience… I was really nervous about catching the bus to Shoebury but I did it and it helped me! Thank you”
“I am very proud of overcoming my fear of traveling on the train to Shoebury.”
“I almost didn’t come because I thought people might see I was vulnerable and hurt or attack me. Sounds silly I know…. I have come along way from years ago when Rachel used to meet me, to walk with me through town. Over the years I have improved more and more, I have an anxiety disorder that affects everything I do. Years ago I would have crumbled under such conditions now I take small steps to make big differences, this trip to Shoebury and the beach hut being one of them.”
We did our part for the environment too, picking up four buckets of rubbish and plastics on the beach. Volunteering, our main focus in the project, always has people feeling good about themselves and has a wonderful way of leaving people feeling valued. The Sandy Hub proved its worth over and over and we hope visits to the beach hut will continue for years to come.