This #VolunteersWeek we are celebrating our amazing volunteer team who make our work possible. Our volunteers work tirelessly across our Glow projects getting free mental health support to children, young people and families across Bristol and the South West. It’s a privilege to see the incredible difference our volunteers make to the lives of countless children and young people experiencing mental health issues, isolation and educational disadvantage. Our volunteers help across the charity from listening support to mentoring, helping in groups to supporting us behind the scenes – we couldn’t do what we do without them.

We are excited to talk to one of our amazing long-standing volunteers, Kirsty, who has been a volunteer on our Drop the Pressure listening support service for many years. Kirsty was one of the very first volunteers on the project and helped us shape the service into what it is today. It’s been a privilege to watch Kirsty’s journey over the years and witness the nurture and care she pours into her support and relationships. We caught up with Kirsty for a chat about her experience volunteering with us.

Why did you start volunteering with Love Squared?

I was looking for a way to give back to my community. I was thrilled to join a team of people clearly so passionate about what they do and to be part of a truly person-centered project.


What makes Drop the Pressure special or different to volunteer on?

As a person living with disability, this project gave me a way to use my skills to listen and mentor young people. Previously this hadn’t been an option with traditional mentoring often involving travelling around the city.

I believe this is also why the project is popular with older children and young people who are looking for support. They may not be able, or feel well enough, to commit to in person mentoring so I feel this project reaches young people who may have previously fell through gaps or held off reaching out.


Would you recommend volunteering at Love Squared?

Yes, I really think it’s a project that works and improves support for young people in Bristol. It’s done with a team that help each other, learn together and support one another. It may be daunting to start with but with the support of the team and your fellow volunteers you end up feeling a part of the flow in next to no time. Ultimately I am sad that my health means I have to take a break. If it wasn’t for my health I’d still be there chatting away on the phone.


How does Drop the Pressure support young people?

On Drop the Pressure, I think young people find a place they can feel heard, seen and supported. The service offers an open non judgemental space for young people to use as they wish. Drop the Pressure gives the young people the freedom to express and reflect on their feelings, life events and any struggles they may be facing. They have someone who wants to listen to them and I truly believe that helps people. Sometimes in simply holding space for others we can allow them to begin to heal.


How has volunteering impacted your personal or professional development?

Yes, I wish to pursue more types of support work, mentoring or advocacy in my future. I don’t think any of that would have ever been a goal I thought possible before the help, guidance and work with Love Squared.

Thanks so much to Kirsty and all our amazing volunteers for your incredible support!

We are currently recruiting volunteers for our Drop the Pressure listening service. If you’re interested in joining the team please get in touch or find out more here.