Anisa, Muhammad, Ian and Cara, tell us how they found the workshops and about their recovery journeys
I attended day 1 feeling really excited but anxious and I really enjoyed the variety of the day. I really enjoyed the opening speech by Rachel Perkins, Chair of The Working Together Committee. I feel it really kicked off such a positive and encouraging message for the week. I loved how Rachel encouraged unity in her speech.
Starting off with and going straight into the Connecting with Creativity workshop was such a positive ice breaker. Grace Dalgleish was lovely. I really loved the first activity such a simple task of tracing hands whichever way up and creating uniquely however we wished. To me this is what the theme of unity is: hands and reaching out, support and simple joys of life.
As I'm still gaining confidence on face-to-face interactions and technology, being able to listen to and create, look at other’s work, ideas and use the chat function really helped. I also managed to talk after completing the final task of taking simple objects in the room and creating a face. I loved Grace's closing remarks of “art/crafts like humans are perfectly imperfect”. This to me bought home the message of Recovery Focus and the widespread inclusion and encouragement of everyone being unique, different and also working and coming together.
After the break we heard from Beverley Clay, Best Practice Development Manager. It was really interesting learning for the first time about the skills and interests form regarding hobbies and suggestions to volunteer time within services, the community, and as well as seeing what you like, and being involved in how services are shaped. We learnt about the London Committee, and the Working Together Committee meeting which happens twice a year. Beverley stated it was important to have staff and people from services involved. There were chances and opportunities to help planning of the forum, help deliver, volunteer.
The first workshop of the day was hosted by Vicki Pritchard. The workshop was really interesting, informative and I loved the use of slides. I also learned a lot as I feel we all in some ways shared so much in common but all had unique differences. I really loved how Vicki filled in the slides as we went along, answered questions, listened and also taught us more about how trauma affects the brain etc. The workshop was very very hard for me due to the subject but also was massively positive as I achieved a personal goal staying through the whole session, listening, interacting and I learned a lot.
When we came back after lunch we went into the workshop Inspire the Nation Meditation with Oliver Scott, Recovery Worker from Oak House. I absolutely loved this workshop. The mixture of slides, his genuine passion again for the subject and I also really loved how he said he got such joy in seeing others on their recovery journey as they go along and how they progress.
I know so many people commented via chat how much the week was helping and to me by day 2 I felt more at ease and was so appreciative and glad to be invited. I feel it's had such a positive impact upon my further recovery journey.
I can't thank everyone enough involved at every stage, including participants. The sense of encouragement, acceptance of each other and also the emails sent by Pamela each day with links, feedback too.
An important part of Working Together Week is hearing recovery stories from people we support. A highlight of the week was when Ian, a person we support in one of our 24 hour supported housing services, shared with us how his love of cooking played an important part in his recovery journey.