The Impact of Peer Support – One Participants Amazing Journey
One of the best parts of being a Peer Support Worker on this project is seeing how everything we put into practice helps participants whose social anxiety, self-esteem and confidence is often at an all-time, and how through the process on HeadsUp (which is taken at their own individual pace) the anxiety lessens greatly. Lives are changing for the better and to see a person grow and flourish is so very rewarding.
One participant Andrew, initially couldn’t leave his house unaccompanied due to his social anxiety, anxiety and depression. Working together, having fortnightly one to one meetings in Costa Coffee, talking about his feelings about the past, present and future hopes and dreams, alongside taking small steps and setting achievable goals, he begin to look at life from a different perspective.
“Having someone you can talk to and discover the way they see you, when you spend so much time in your own head space and only seeing yourself from your own point of view, it really made me appreciate others don’t see me the way I do.”
Gradually his confidence was growing, he took his children to the park, he began to speak out in group meetings (he finally felt he had a voice and something worthy to speak about) he began running and he enrolled on to a course at college( All things at one time he never thought were possible).
He has now run two half marathons, two 10k races and a few 5k runs over Christmas, two dressed as Santa!
He hopes to pass his exams and has been accepted at Anglia Ruskin University to start this September to train to become a Paramedic.
“Being part of the HeadsUp Project, and with the additional support I’ve had from family and friends enabled me to also seek the medical help I needed too. So it was a combination of factors really and the small advances I made, built on one another until I actually felt quite good about myself and that hadn’t happened in a long while.
Having had a Peer Support Worker who genuinely cares about your situation and has the ability to help you overcome your doubts and see the strengths within yourself, you can grow and build a momentum that propels you forward to places you wouldn’t have dreamed of just a year or so before. For that, I will be forever grateful, they are a credit to your organisation.”