Why did you decide to join the Myplace project?
I was four-years into lone parenting after suddenly and unexpectedly losing my partner in 2015. I'd given up work to care for our little girl and try and get myself back on track. I was still struggling with very low mood, loneliness and isolation. I wasn't seeing or talking to any adults between school runs and spent most of every day on my own or with my little girl. I felt like I was just existing with nothing in my life for me that I actually enjoyed doing and not much company.
Before life changed so suddenly and completely, I had been looking into getting involved with volunteering in conservation work as I've always loved nature and was considering it as a career. I'd done a little bit in the past and really enjoyed it.
Myplace has made a huge difference to me. It's literally helped me start finding my way back to me a bit, after feeling so lost, isolated, quite depressed and empty for a long time. It's given me a direction, helped me start doing more things again, taking an interest and enjoying doing something worthwhile.
The Myplace sessions are always the highlight of what is often a lonely and stressful week for me. I always look forward to getting together with a group of lovely friendly people, to chat about our shared interest in nature, to learn new things and ways to help our wildlife. I quite often feel anxious because of things that happen in the week to me, but being involved in Myplace means I have something to look forward to and gets me through another week. It's always fun and interesting, two hours of doing something for myself that I enjoy.
Lone parenting means I don't get much time to myself but it's good to carve a bit of time out to do this with the group. I feel happier, more relaxed and connected afterwards. I'm really grateful to Adam and the teams at the wildlife trust for what they are doing. It's a really valuable and lovely experience.