Volunteer journeys: Salwa from London


Two and a half years ago my husband passed away. It was an untimely and unexpected death. Needless to say, it was devastating. For several months, I was not able to concentrate on anything except read about grief. It was probably my way of trying to make sense of the tragedy that hit me and my family.

One day I found myself picking up the BACP journal and was immediately drawn to the Marriage Care invitation for applications to train as a couple counsellor. I had been working as a therapist for years and had referred many of my clients to couple work but had never come across Marriage Care.

I was attracted to the voluntary aspect of the work. The thought that I could help support couples who may be struggling in their relationships felt right.

I was fortunate enough to have experienced a loving relationship myself for 40 years and thought it would be right to use my professional experience to help couples reconnect.

Rumi believed that man/woman’s sense of isolation from the rest of life lies at the heart of their suffering and unhappiness. Rumi says that the sad notes of the flute are due to its separation from the reed bed.

The fact that at Marriage Care we can see couples regardless of their ability to pay is close to my heart. Working with other counsellors who volunteer willingly for several years is a privilege.

I leave you with the Bengali poet Tagore:

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

Salwa is a volunteer counsellor at the Marriage Care London Centre.

Written by Salwa Jayyusi
Photo by Yessica Apolo