As part of Working Together Week we wanted to hear from the people we support who are on our Working Together Planning Group. Today they’re going to talk about their experiences using our person-centred and co-produced forms of support. They helped to create and inspire all the social media content for this #WorkingTogetherWeek – so a huge thank you from us for sharing their recovery journeys and for their support for this week! 

Stacy, Recovery Story from Person we Supported: 

My story starts some time ago at the tender age of 17 after leaving school. I was very shy and introverted at the time, and maybe this is why I ended up being bullied at work, it wasn’t good, and it was physical and mental torture. It shaped the way I feel about both managers and who I work with. Unfortunately, I have been through quite a few jobs as a result of what happened to me over my first formative 10 years.  

I have been on many courses, I’ve done confidence courses, assertiveness courses. They’ve helped a little bit, generally time has made me less shy. I’ve come out of my shell and done a lot of interesting things, met a lot of interesting people and grown up. But, just before COVID-19 we had a new manager start at my job at that time and he was not a good fit for me, I couldn’t get on with him and it led to a period of stress in the workplace. I ended up handing in my notice, it was not a good time for me. My stress created a lot of physical pain for me in my stomach and I did not know what was happening. I needed reassurance and someone to talk to. So, I ended up talking to Richmond Fellowship and through their help and courses on stress in the workplace, I have managed to settle myself down again and I have a greater vision for the future, so much better than it was before. There are things I know I need to work though still but with the guidance and support I had from Richmond Fellowship I know that the future is much more rosier. 

It is good to have people there for you. To know there is support and that there are people willing to help you and will look for things that will help you. In my case with all the online meetings we had I was talking to people who were in similar situations, I no longer felt alone. I suddenly realised that it wasn’t just me, it was happening everywhere. It might be slightly different in some people’s case, but in all it was very similar. I suppose out of that I gained some strength and I am very thankful for the experience I had in the Richmond Fellowship. No one needs to be sad and no one needs to put up with a manager that doesn’t listen and is manipulative, that was the problem I had.  

I am now looking forward to a new career, new experiences and new people to meet. If you feel unsure about yourself and you need someone to talk to, turn to the Richmond Fellowship. You never know you might find the support you need. 

Grant, Recovery Story from Person we Supported: 

I have had mental health problems throughout my whole life, it started when I was at school, children can be very horrible and teachers were not very nice to me, they used to say that ‘you are stupid’ and were not supportive. When I left school, I didn't get very good grades. A few jobs I had I face similar problems, but I was afraid that if I left one job that I wouldn't get another job, I was unsure how I would manage. During these times I used to cope by drinking. This had an effect on my mental health, I ended up in hospital around the late 1980’s to early 1990’s. I went down to the day hospital occasionally to do art crafts and cooking. I had a one to one counsel for a while which was very beneficial. When I got discharged from the ward, I still attended the day hospital until they were no longer there due to funding. 

I joined Richmond Fellowship last year, I had one to one support at Leicestershire Life Links. I have support come round once a week to help me with my daily activities like food shopping, cleaning, bills etc. I also attend an art and crafts workshop on Zoom, we are hoping to get it more often like they used to do before Covid-19 within the building alongside Art Therapy. I am sure it is a lot easier in person. I also go to a lot of meetings to advocate to try and improve the services. I have over 50 years of life experience and am hoping to get a paid job in the caring profession one day. 

We hope you are enjoying #WorkingTogetherWeek so far - be sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up with all the content this week!

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