Volunteer stories We are so lucky to have so many brilliant volunteers at the Brentwood Leisure Centre Here are few words from some of our volunteers, to give you a real insight into what being a volunteer is all about "Obesity in children, rise in mental health problems, anxiety, depression, young people going under the radar with no food for the poorer families. The Brentwood Centre and the Chat 1st team have been prioritising all these issues and supporting the Community to not only find somewhere to go but finding someone who they can talk to and who will take the time to listen, motivate and be a support in all these problems. I am a Volunteer with the Chat 1st Team and the thought of all these people losing that support I find really distressing. I have been part of the team at the Inclusive Sports Fest, which many schools across Brentwood attended, the patience, innovation and hard work that everyone put in to enable all the students of these schools with varying degrees of disability, feel part of something and enjoy learning new skills and having fun was simply amazing to watch. I have sat and listened when adults with mental health, anxiety and depression, once they managed to gain confidence to walk through the door, poured out their concerns and worries. I watched whilst they become involved in the various activities supported by the staff and volunteers. As a Volunteer with Chat 1st I hope that I can help maintain a safe and supportive environment in The Brentwood Centre for young people, adults and families to attend and be part of a community that puts the mental health, wellbeing and physical attributes at all levels and standards, to the forefront in a positive and non-judgmental manner." "I love volunteering with Chat 1st, it provides me a genuine sense of giving something back to my community. I volunteer at Badminton on a Monday night. It’s a lovely group of people. There are all different levels of ability and we make everyone feel welcome. It’s not about how good someone is, in my opinion it’s about getting active and interacting with others. Although the skill levels are definitely improving and Hayley and I have to be on our A game."