06 June 2019

Katherine Corbett is an Activities Coordinator at Tower Hamlets Recovery College and she is Volunteer Lead. She started off her ELFT life as a volunteer at Newham Mental Health Centre, and is also a Staff Governor.


What attracted you to the volunteer role? 

I decided to volunteer because I was looking for a career change, and wanted to see what it would be like to work in mental health 

For more information about our volunteering opportunities please contact elft.volunteerenq@nhs.net.  volunteering as a Staff Governor, I am concerned about staff welfare and I wanted staff to have a voice.before I changed career paths and made a commitment.

I initially got a job as an Activities Coordinator for another Trust after volunteering, however I always knew I wanted to work for ELFT so when the role came up I applied and got the job!! 

In terms of volunteering as a Staff Governor, I am concerned about staff welfare and I wanted staff to have a voice.

Have you volunteered before, had any previous experience?

I volunteered before at a local hospital on a stroke ward. I wanted to see if I wanted to become an OT, and that’s when I realised I wanted to work in mental health. Afterwards, I applied and volunteered at NHMC. 

What do you like most about the role? 
When I volunteered at NHMC it was a good opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, it gave me the opportunity to be creative in the role and to work within a group.

I wasn't just turning up, I was collaborating and having other people to discuss my ideas with.

Being a governor has enabled me to have some input in how the trust is governed, and has given me lots of different experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. This included interviewing Non-Executives for their posts which proved to be an invaluable experience.

Volunteers on the ward have been valuable, they offer fresh perspective, life experience, strength and skills which are strongly needed, and for out of hours service, it's not tokenistic, and is instead very helpful for the ward and patients.

What advice, what would you say to people who want to volunteer?
I would say give it a try, it's very rewarding.