71-year-old man 'feels useful and has a purpose' while volunteering

David Flannigan,71, Bury St Edmunds Volunteer

David Flannigan,71, Bury St Edmunds Volunteer - Credit: Mind

A charity shop worker has spoken of how volunteering has helped him tackle mental health problems.

David Flannigan, 71, from Bury St Edmunds, has been raising awareness of and collecting funds for the Mind mental health charity, after getting much-needed support in a difficult time. 

Mr Flannigan has been volunteering at the charity's shop in Bury St Edmunds for two years. He said: “I had mental health problems and after visiting my support worker one day, they suggested volunteering.  

David Flannigan,71, Bury St Edmunds Volunteer

David Flannigan,71, Bury St Edmunds Volunteer - Credit: Mind

“Straight away, I loved the people I volunteered alongside and decided to continue helping in the shop. The staff are amazing, and they have become like family to me. When I’m volunteering in the shop, I feel useful and feel like I have a purpose. 

“Since volunteering at Mind, my mental health has improved hugely. After I lost my son and wife, I didn't have a reason to leave the house, but now I do.

"Not only do I volunteer, but I am also proud to be a Sunday Supervisor at the age of 71. The team at Bury St Edmunds are so nice to work with and I love being a part of the team.” 

Last year, Mind shops across England and Wales collectively raised over £6million for mental health support and services. This achievement would not be possible without the volunteers' help. 

Most Read

Money raised by Mind’s volunteers goes towards helping people who struggle with mental health problems.  

The charity delivers vital support services, such as info line, campaigning work and online community support to make sure that no one faces mental health problems alone. 

Andrew Vale, the managing director of Mind Retail, said: “Volunteering at our Mind shops provides people with the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge, with the opportunity to also complete National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).

"We rely on volunteers to keep our shops running and to help us raise funds so that we can continue to support everyone experiencing a mental health problem.” 

Anybody can sign up online and join the team of amazing volunteers.