By Tracy Turland
Hello, I’m Tracy and this is my first ever blog! I have been an Involvement Volunteer at the Rosewood Involvement Centre in Ollerton since July 2013, a carer for a friend and more recently a Peer Volunteer at the Recovery College in Nottingham.
After finally graduating from the first in-house Peer Support Worker training in September 2015 I felt that I was at a crossroads in my life. This was a landmark for me as it took three applications before I got on the course!
I like to keep myself busy but realise I can’t do everything and please everyone all of the time. During the course my resilience and control were tested whilst waiting for a post of ‘Peer Support Worker’ to be advertised. It was a typical Friday afternoon meeting at Rosewood when Nigel Groves, Rosewood Centre Manager approached me with his usual sunny disposition. He always senses when something is troubling me, perhaps it’s because all too often I wear my heart on my sleeve! He offered me a review meeting to discuss my hopes and goals. These take place every three months and every volunteer in the Trust is entitled to one.
Nigel really listened to me. We devised a ‘Personal Development Plan’ and looked at training via the Trust’s Learning & Development programme. Together we agreed what to do after the Peer Training. I used the Trust’s intranet and requested different training via Outlook.
I attended the ‘Coaching Skills for Recovery’ last October with other NHS staff and volunteers. The tutor is a personal life coach. She gave me the tools to enable me to identify my own action plan. I completed a ‘Wheel of Life’ which focuses on important areas of your life which you want to change including career, creativity, spirituality, family, community, learning, health, social life, finances, personal & physical development and home.
On reflection I can see that I had the answers all along, the unconscious mind in spite of itself will come up with the answers. Sometimes, you don’t have to take any action; instead you have to walk away from a problem or situation.
I then met with Helen Brown the Recovery College Centre Manager to discuss becoming a Peer Volunteer and attended a Volunteer’s Induction session at the college. Helen gave an overview of the structure and explained about supervision and reflective practice with Angela (College Volunteer Co-ordinator). I completed a’ Wellness to Volunteer Action Plan’ and identified that I wanted to co-deliver a ‘Creativity and Recovery’ course with Scott and Debbie.
I work part-time as an ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) Tutor and learnt a new creative skill recently called ‘Zendoodle/Zentangle’ designed to relax, relieve stress and help inspiration as well as playing with dough! The group was a mixture of musicians, artists, poets and a jewellery maker. I used my teaching experience to present different activities on the ‘Creativity and Recovery Course’ and gathered ideas from course members.
I would like to thank Nigel and Helen for giving me the many opportunities to enhance my teaching and learning skills. I am looking forward to 2016 and continuing my professional development as a Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust volunteer.
My goal is to become a Peer Tutor and I’ll keep you posted when this happens!
Recovery means living a meaningful life with or without symptoms. It is about inspiring hope, gaining control of your own wellbeing and taking the opportunities you want to in life.
Recovery College Team: 0115 956 0827