Dominic is Mind’s Engagement Manager and he works to develop our peer support.
I had a positive impression of what Mind can do as I knew a woman who worked with Diverse Minds through my day service. She had a huge impact on my personal life. I regained my confidence, reconnected with myself. It made me believe I was someone who could work. I therefore fundamentally believed in what Mind did and when I saw a potential opportunity to join I thought “do you know what, let me give it a try”.
"I feel we’re making transformational changes."
What I like about Mind is people are productive. We’re raising money, improving services and changing lives. I like that we provide a platform for people to be heard and help advocate for marginalised and vulnerable people. I feel we’re making transformational changes in society, which makes Mind a really exciting place to work.
"Everything is new, everything’s fresh."
Ultimately I find my work thrives on collaboration, recognising differences, and learning and listening when we are constructively challenged about certain positions we take. It’s no better amplified or expressed by our work with peer support. Year on year, it’s gradually taken on its own life form. I pinch myself when I look at where we have gone with peer support in 3 years for Mind. I really do.
And that’s why I’ve stayed! Because everything is new, everything’s fresh. I feel like I’m a cog in a wheel that is working well, that is well oiled, that is well serviced, that is actually producing a lot of energy. A critical mass, almost like a movement. So for me, that feeling is something I’ll always cherish for the rest of my life.
"I really enjoy the opportunity to meet people."
I’ve made lots of connections nationally, but I also get to work with lots of our local Minds from across England and Wales. So I really enjoy the opportunity to meet people, network and find the pulse of different areas.
"We are not working on a conveyor belt."
When an organisation can know that people’s emotional wellbeing is fundamental when they come into work – they’ve got something. There’s absolutely no organisation in my working life that has got that. Mind has got it. And I think giving people ‘Mind Days’ symbolises that we are not working on a conveyor belt. That’s why I’ve stayed longer than 3 years now – to my shock!
"Feeling accepted and part of a community is very important to me. Mind gives me that."
Although not everyone is from the same background, once you’ve engaged in conversation, everyone’s spirit and heart is in the right place – we’re on the same page. Sometimes there’s a very thin line between workmate and friend and although it’s a job, it’s a pleasure to get on with people in a genuinely friendly manner. For me, I live and breathe some aspects of my experiences of mental health and exclusion generally as a foreign black man. Feeling accepted and part of a community is very important to me. Mind gives me that.
"Go for it. Come and add some diversity. Why don’t you. I dare you to."
For anyone thinking of applying I’d say ‘have confidence’. No matter how much your dreams may have been crushed… believe me, you’ll always find some likeminded people here. It’s not all been smooth. It’s been difficult sometimes. But that difficulty has grown to be something that I can actually cherish and reflect on much more positively. I’d say go for it. Come and add some diversity. Why don’t you. I dare you to.