One of our most active volunteers, Darren Rogers talks about how volunteering has helped his depression.

“In the past I have suffered with anxiety and low levels of self-esteem. Over a lengthily period I suffered from depression, which I found really difficult to cope with and it was a period of my life which affected me in many different ways and those close to me.  I find being around supportive people who I can talk too and actually helping other people, really helps me a lot”

“When I started volunteering at SAW, I helped out at a few local Weightlifting events which I really enjoyed.  I remember the first competition I helped out at, which was a school’s event and I was one of the bar loaders. From here on I took more of an interest in the club”

“I was encouraged by the club to take the Technical Officiating course. The volunteers at the club give me praise and encouragement, I also enjoyed doing a bit of training myself and really enjoyed helping out at competitions and in the club, so I gave the officiating course ago and began helping out at larger events, like the Welsh Championships”

“I have to say that volunteering has really given me a focus and I look forward to being part of what seems to be a really supportive community of weightlifting”

“Sometimes, I can’t believe how much has happened. A few years on and I am now heavily involved with Weightlifting in Pembrokeshire and I officiate at Welsh, British and International events. I do really believe that being apart of the weightlifting community has played a vital step in my mental health”

“Next year, I am hoping to pass the highest international officiating award and hoping to officiate at some higher-level competitions such as the European and World Championships, but I still really enjoy supporting the local competitions in Pembrokeshire, where there is loads of weightlifting going on”

“I have also taken the coaching awards and sometimes help out at SAW coaching, I really enjoy that too and look forward to it”

“Being a volunteer has definitely helped me with my self-confidence, I have had a lot of support to develop in this sport and I really do feel a part of a team”

Darren is an extremely active volunteer for a number of organisations, Pembrokeshire Weightlifting, Weightlifting Wales and British Weightlifting. He also surprisingly fits in charity work as Chairperson of the Camrose Vintage Show and Prostate Cymru. We at SAW are delighted that Darren is apart and plays a large role on our organisation.