Lived Experience Matters
When Jane Simpson, our CEO, took over her role, one of her aims was to actively involve people with lived experience to join our organisation. Here's the story of X, a service user who is now a volunteer across several of our services, using his experience to help others with their wellbeing and recovery: X was referred to our service in May 2022 following a detox at his local hospital. He had been battling with addiction for a number of years and required mental health support and counselling to address triggers leading to his alcohol consumption barissues. ACT referred him for counselling with Suffolk Mind, through our Barclays 100 x 100 Fund, and the sessions commenced in July last year. The support worker provided him with information on the SMART Recovery 4-point programme, and the NSFT Recovery College. He enrolled in a number of Recovery College courses and found these to be very beneficial, and also attended SMART recovery sessions in Ipswich. X's support worker accompanied him to AA meetings in Woodbridge, which he attended daily. When he mentioned that he had a background in finance, his support worker discussed the possibility of him becoming a volunteer with ACT. The worker contacted the relevant teams and provided a character reference for him. X is currently an ACT volunteer with our Money Advice Service, our Enabling Service and is also a Peer Mentor. He is now supporting other Service Users in their wellbeing and recovery.”
We actively encourage people with lived experience to apply for jobs, or volunteer opportunities with ACT - this story shows how supporting others, using lived experience, has a hugely positive outcome.