I didn’t realise how poorly I was and it took people and services to show me.
When I heard about WY-FI and that it was formulated by Experts by Experience and staff combined, I wanted to find out more. Through my learning and being in the project I have been surrounded by a wealth of people and information and know that there are people in WY-FI who have experienced their ‘rock bottoms’.
I could talk about the things relating to MCN but I wanted more, to be able to talk to professionals and explain things with a different view, to advocate. It was great to be in the peer mentor course. From the very start I realised we were at the centre, it was about us and we would learn and grow the ethos. From day one the emphasis was on me as a person and if I struggled to speak up I was encouraged to do so.
I soaked up the knowledge, especially around safeguarding. I became part of the group. People from different places and experience to me. One of the best learning experiences was hearing from a learner who had cared for someone in addiction.
I carry on being part of the change, it’s so wonderful and it makes me emotional, I felt important.
I couldn’t believe it when I was told I got the job! I am now supporting four beneficiaries. I helped a guy out of his house. He learned to trust me because he said I knew where he was because I had been there too. He was scared to leave the house, but applying learning from the course and lived experience I supported him to get out. We went to get him a haircut I had never seen such a smile.
I am going home feeling fulfilled. I am in a place where I am constantly learning, asking everybody everything. I have a house, I am engaged to my partner. I can acknowledge now that this is all down to my own hard work! Now when I look in a mirror I know that the person looking back at me loves me.
Touchstone Annual Review 2015-2016