I have a lot of different perspectives on working for Solent Mind: the first is just that it’s almost miraculous I’m well enough to do this job, being ‘a bit of a mess’ when I first came into Mind. I’ve been a volunteer at Fareham Wellbeing Centre and a Wellbeing Advisor, and I’ve worked on the Community Connector Project (now UBelong Gosport) project. Now I’m a Senior Wellbeing Advisor at Portsmouth Wellbeing Centre. Some of the most important things I bring to my work are gratitude to Solent Mind for enabling and supporting me to recover, and giving hope to other people that they too can recover.
I still have a sense of wonder in my work that I am able to ‘make a difference’ to people’s lives, in much the same way Solent Mind made a difference to me five years ago. I work on the Buddhist philosophy of ‘giving without any expectation of reward’. Conversely, the rewards I get from this philosophy are amazing and cannot be bought.
To work for Solent Mind and to ‘put something back’ is rewarding beyond words. To turn tears to smiles and to watch people grow and become better again is what working for Mind is all about. There are a lot of tireless people trying to help others and I would not have met these wonderful people had it not been for my work.
Of course my main employment for the last year has been the Portsmouth Wellbeing Centre. I had no doubts about moving to Portsmouth – I was moving to a Solent Mind Wellbeing Centre, I knew I was only coming to positives. And I did. I was made very welcome from the time I arrived by not only staff but service users and volunteers too. There is always a warmth and reassurance to be found in any Wellbeing Centre and Portsmouth epitomises that philosophy.
That is another huge positive about working for Solent Mind in Portsmouth, the amazing team work, the rapport, the support and the looking out not only for service users, but also each other in what can be an exacting and challenging environment. The kindness, care and thoughtfulness that permeates through the whole of Mind is a very positive force for recovery in every sense of the word. And it goes right the way through, from service users to volunteers to colleagues. I’m not even sure that colleagues is the right word, perhaps friends may be a better word. The strength of Solent Mind is in the caring. Portsmouth Wellbeing Centre is a microcosm of all that is good in Mind.
Working in all these different roles in Mind has been amazing. I have risen to and overcome challenges that I would have thought impossible five years ago. Achieved things I would have regarded as unattainable in five years. And most of all I am now able to put that something back. That is how important working for Solent Mind in Portsmouth is to me and I know to others.
Solent Mind is where recovery and miracles happen. It is a privilege to be a small part of the positive energy and amazing whole that is Mind.
Senior Wellbeing Advisor at Portsmouth Wellbeing Centre.