Naomi Gibbons, aged 39, from Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, volunteers at Sherborne House, at the Charlton Lane Centre in Cheltenham.
She started volunteering with the Dementia Education Team more than two-and-a-half years ago.
Describing her role, Naomi said: “I love my volunteering role with the Trust. I help develop research publications and help guides. I find it really interesting work.”
Naomi – a talented cellist, oboe player and pianist – was previously Head of Department at a secondary school, where she taught music and drama. However, her own personal battle with mental health issues, including severe social anxiety, brought her teaching career to an end. Naomi, who has a personal interest in dementia, also trained as a music therapist, working with dementia sufferers, as well as children with physical and mental health issues.
Talking about why she volunteers, Naomi said: “I find it so fulfilling. The Trust has done so much to help me with my own mental health issues. It is nice to be able to give something back.
“If it were not for the wonderful people at 2gether, I’m not sure I’d still be here. They have been a godsend.
“Sherborne House is a safe place for me. The people I work with are so empathetic and non- judgmental. They don’t make me feel any different to the rest of the team.”
Naomi says her volunteering role has played a key role in her own recovery and is now looking to retrain. She added: “I’m not entirely sure in what exactly, but music will definitely be the underlying theme of whatever path I take.”
Naomi says she would encourage anyone to consider volunteering: “It has done nothing but good for my own mental health. I feel I have a role and a purpose in life again.
“It is so satisfying to know that I am helping the people I work with and I am making a difference to the lives of people suffering with dementia.
“I would definitely recommend volunteering for 2gether to anybody thinking about it.”