News and events

News and events

Nelft logo


NELFT NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of community health and mental health services across the north east London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Essex and Kent and Medway.

Read the latest NELFT news, including information on our services, new trust staff, research and development of our services.

NELFT volunteer provides mental health support to young people like her daughter

Image of Ruby

Volunteer, Ruby Chott, shares her story to mark the 40th anniversary of Volunteer’s Week (3-9 June).

Ruby is a carer for her daughter who had experienced mental health difficulties. This sparked an interest to learn more about mental health. As part of this, Ruby decided to volunteer and support patients on the wards in Sunflower Court, seeing young people just like her daughter. Volunteering with lived experience can be beneficial for patients within this setting.

Ruby said:

“I really believe it can be life-changing for both parties and that is what it has done for me. It gives service users great hope that healing and recovery is possible. When they hear from lived experience how you and loved ones have come through, it can give them peace and hope during a very dark and challenging time in their life.”

Through volunteering, Ruby has become an involvement representative where she participates in interview panels and co-production. Her journey continues now as a permanent member of staff, working as a peer support worker within the Redbridge Mental Health Older Adults team.

Ruby said of the support she received:

“The patient experience team were wonderful, providing lots of support and advice which helped me progress to becoming an involvement rep and now working for NELFT as a peer support worker, which I am loving.  My own life and wellbeing has improved considerably.”

Within her role as peer support worker, Ruby runs a Thai Chi group alongside occupational therapists which the older adults thoroughly enjoy. She also runs the DIG intergenerational project at a primary school where older adults and volunteers participate in arts and crafts activities and read to primary school children.

In explaining the impact of the project, Ruby said:

“It is a great project helping both the older generation and the children with anxiety, depression, and loneliness. I absolutely love this, and it has given me insight into so many problems and issues with mental health across the board.”

If you are considering volunteering, she shares some key takeaways about the benefits you can reap as a volunteer.

“Volunteering helps to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, and enhance life skills. You feel a sense of purpose to life with greater appreciation. It also creates a sense of belonging so is a great way to reduce isolation.”

This website makes use of Essential Cookies, as defined in the UK GDPR, in order to function and to improve your security, e.g. when submitting forms. These Essential Cookies are only for security and site function, and do not track individual in any way.

In order to better understand your needs and so improve our services to you, this website may also make use of some cookies that are used for traffic analytics or other behavioural statistics ("Analytics Cookies"). More details can be found on our Privacy Page .

If you are happy to accept these Analytics Cookies, please press the Accept button; if you are not happy to accept these Analytics Cookies, this site will still work correctly but some third party services (such as some videos or social media feeds) may not display.

Please choose a setting: