Msaada (a Swahili word meaning “giving back”) is our volunteering programme for people from the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities who want to support BME people who are living with a mental illness.
Volunteers in the Msaada programme help people by performing roles such as befriending, visiting patients on our wards and administration.
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back or to make a difference. It's not only a great opportunity to learn new skills, you can also improve your self-confidence, meet new people and change lives. Many of our volunteers have gone on to pursue a career in nursing, medicine or social work.
What we look for in a volunteer
If you can spare a few hours per week then why not get involved with Msaada?
No previous experience is necessary but you must be willing to commit to volunteering for a minimum of three hours per week over nine months.
Volunteers have to provide two references and pass a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) clearance and occupational health checks.
“An adage among the Yoruba-speaking people of Nigeria says: ‘the sweetness of the soup is in the tasting’. ...The befriender programme at SLaM is unique and ambitious with fantastic outcomes. It should be encouraged and supported. The soup needs to be tasted!”
Quote from David Leon, who was awarded Trust Volunteer of the Year 2019:
“I chat with the service users and we play dominoes. Whatever I do I try to make them feel valued and supported. I’ve been through some depression myself and I think that activity helps positivity! Just living for myself is in vain, but giving to others I live again and again."