What led you to sign up to Richmond Fellowship?

  • Friends recommended me and Angie suggested I join.
  • Doctors handed me a leaflet.
  • Louise recommended me and how the courses had helped her.
  • Research through internet to support me in employment and then onto Angie’s courses.
  • Recommended through my doctor.
  • Mind matters signposted me.
  • “Self-referred to a decluttering course”.
  • My journey with mental health began at a time of deep emotional conflict. A long history of suppressed and unknown emotions fuelled by a career and personal life that thrived in and chased what I “should” be and terrified me away from exploring what I might “want” to be. A path leading nowhere wholesome. It was very lonely, scary, and debilitating. Desperate to find help, I landed in the warm arms of Richmond Fellowship and found a judgement free, open, and a truly understanding community. Most importantly, I found hope and I found myself.
  • The Richmond Fellowship has been a lifeline to me. At a time when I was at an all-time low, it offered me gentle support. There was always someone there to talk to and a Safe Haven to visit if home life became too hard.
  • I have struggled with anxiety most of my adult life and never really got a handle on how to manage it, apart from seeing a therapist for a while and reading the odd self-help book. As a result, I always felt isolated and thought that I would benefit from longer term support to help me cope better with my emotions. When I came across Richmond Fellowship it was exactly what I had been looking for. I could not believe how much there was available to sign up to, and all free of charge! There were mental health workshops of all kinds, socials, nature groups, mindfulness to name a few (face to face or online), places where I could get to know like-minded people and support and share experiences and ideas.
  • I came for help to Richmond Fellowship in the Autumn of 2022, a shell, a memory of myself. RF was one of the organisations that was suggested to me to reach out to. The help I have received here, the support in my own recovery has brought me back to life really.

 

How have RF team supported you during your time with RF?

  • Being there to listen to me.
  • Groups have supported me.
  • Enabled me to become a volunteer with RF.
  • Telephone appointments with lovely Barbara.
  • Being able to talk openly about my mental health with others in a similar position – peer support.
  • Giving me confidence to apply for jobs and go for interviews.
  • Resilience workshop provided great coping skills.
  • Mental Health First Aid course helped me to prepare for crisis.
  • Carmen giving one to one session benefitted tremendously.
  • Groups and courses provide structure and purpose to my week.
  • Structured/guided online format enables me to feel safe enough to attend and engage on my own terms in my own way.
  • Openness and honesty of peers make me feel less alien – like I belong.
  • Groups are welcoming, kind, compassionate and non-judgemental.
  • There were also options to join groups which benefitted me in many ways. Firstly, I had lost all confidence to face the world and I was given a safe space in which to learn new techniques to ease anxiety and avoid stress.  I felt that I also flourished as I was encouraged to appreciate things around me such as nature and the healing effects of gardening.  We were encouraged  to keep gratitude jars and diaries which really boosted the mood and helped to realign me.  I have done many wonderful courses over the time I have spent there all of which were beneficial in varied, different ways.  Angie Muscio is a totally inspiring and wonderful tutor and has really mentored me.
  • Dominic’s Mindfulness group are really supportive.
  • At the time I wasn’t able to attend support groups but my 121s were instrumental to my recovery.
  • Angie & Dominic are in tune with where and how we all feel.
  • Feelings that we are not alone and with people who understand.
  • Each course and one to one is a building block. It’s also very good to go over a repeated course.
  • Being online it isn’t so noisy as in person.
  • Being online makes the tea breaks quicker, so we can gain more content from the course being held.
  • Being online is the first big step into helping to gain confidence for in person as with the courses and one to one help.
  • Richmond Fellowship has helped me to engage in life again…I was very lost…I am ever so grateful for the whoooole team, each playing an important part in this heart centred, transformative, grounded organisation that is recovery in action, walking the talk. Hats off, hand on heart, thank you!
  • Feelings that we are not alone and with people who understand.
  • Each course and one to one is a building block. It’s also very good to go over a repeated course.
  • Being online it isn’t so noisy as in person.
  • Angie & Dominic are in tune with where and how we all feel.

 

How has Richmond Fellowship contributed to your wellbeing?

  • Positive Thoughts workshop at Wingfield Centre – really supported me to get through difficult times when I was not at work/ staged return to work.
  • Reflective Wellbeing Day I attended in September 2022 (at Wingfield Centre, run/supported by all the lovely people Jemima, Charlotte, Angie, David, Dominic, and the amazing Natasha from Art Matters. Enjoyed all of it and opportunity to see familiar and new faces I had previously met at other courses run by RF.
  • Outing to Lavender Farm, Banstead July 2021 with Friday support group  which has left me with lovely memories and photos which I go back to whenever I need to find a happy memory to keep me going through difficult hours.
  • Easter Card Making Workshop at Wingfield Resource Centre- 2 hours of getting immersed into something which I would not normally enjoy and being in lovely company.
  • Teaching me to understand values, exploring emotions and learning that we have permission to be kind to ourselves were hugely beneficial.
  • I can look back now at that painful time with gratitude because as painful as it was, going through it allowed a re-birth and a much more wholesome connection to life. I am profoundly grateful to now be able to help others in my volunteering and career and be part of such an exceptional community – the Richmond Fellowship Community.
  • As Richmond Fellowship has been such an inspiration to me, I am now volunteering for them to hopefully give something back, but also because it feels good.
  • I have attended many groups with RF, learnt a lot about myself and others, grown as a person and made wonderful friends along the way. In the space of one year I am managing my mental health in a healthier way and feel much more confident about my recovery knowing the support from Richmond Fellowship is there.
  • The groups and courses during the lockdowns were my lifeline. I can’t imagine how I would have been without them.
  • I am who I am today because of what Richmond Fellowship gave me.
  • One to one session initially, coupled then with zoom meetings, to supportive phone calls, individuals taking the time to communicate by email with me, to being supported in a breakout room, to accepting me as I show up, to empowering me to actively take part.. i transform, daily, finding centre once again, healing, helping myself to lessen extreme panic attacks, total isolation, to choosing to volunteer.
  • Having these courses and help online cuts out the worries of travelling, parking the car, petrol money, Will I be able to get home, will the public transport run because of strikes, cancellation, money to get a ticket, etc and all this before the course makes the course then impossible to take anything in from the course. Online is easier.

 

Contributed by our Friday Support Circle and Volunteers

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