Here's why we do what we do
This incredible service user story is being used at a celebration event for a project, run by a training provider that has been running successfully for the last 4 years. It demonstrates how our services really do look after a whole person and not just one issue:
When I first started working with Anglia Care Trust (ACT), I had only been out of the Woodlands hospital (a mental health unit at Ipswich Hospital), for 5 months. When I got out of hospital I lived in 24hr supported living; after 3 months I moved to Felixstowe and therefore was only receiving 4 hours support which covered help with paperwork, bills etc. However, what I also needed was support in gradually being introduced back into society at a pace that suited me but was also beneficial in my recovery. When I came across ACT it truly was a godsend because they were able to not only reassure me with advice on what is available out there, but they helped me research the possible projects and places that might appeal to me and help me.
We would have meetings frequently which is extremely helpful and they then would help with filling in registration forms for these places. I was over the moon when I heard back from them and they said I had been accepted on a course with The Green Light Trust. The course that I took was female only, but they have mixed groups and male only groups too which means we, as the participant, can choose whichever group we would feel more comfortable in. The project is based in the woods and they promote diversity and inclusion which then means they help you with social skills. I was able to build up confidence in team building activities whilst also having the option to say if I felt overwhelmed or anxious to go and do something independently. The staff teach basic survival skills too i.e. starting a fire and how to keep it going etc. There are so many different activities and tools to try i.e. the shaving horses are there to help people whittle wood to then create things such as a wooden mallet out of a log.
Every session someone different will be allocated the job of coming up with lunch ideas and helping to cook the following week; lunches are provided and it’s even cooked on the open fire. The relief is, that if any of us didn’t feel comfortable doing certain activities or don’t feel confident in using tools etc. we always have the choice and the staff are so welcoming and understanding. Anglia Care Trust also came to a session to see how it was going and what the group were up to. In these circumstances they even supported me and helped me with travel and with the right footwear and raincoat which was completely unexpected and very thoughtful of them. I also had the opportunity for Anglia Care trust to look through my CV with me ready for when I’m looking for work; they helped me understand how to word a CV, what to include and also how to cut it down a little too
Since then they have helped me look into voluntary activities such as coastal volunteering and they sat with me and showed me how to apply. Also, we worked through where I feel I need support in relation to my well-being, so for example we looked into courses I could do to help with techniques that can help me with my anxiety levels, counselling options, help with eating disorders etc. ACT covers so many aspects of support; they have helped me with money management skills i.e. how to apply for certain grants or any other help I may financially be entitled to, They are currently helping me integrate with other ACT service users which I look forward to. They have really helped me and it’s a breath of fresh air to have the help from such understanding, knowledgeable and compassionate people.