John Reynolds, Geoff Rowe, Allan Gerard and Libby Lloyds
Individual Achievement Award
John has been volunteering since 2012 and has completed over 2,000 hours of volunteering. He is a qualified counsellor and truly wants to give back to the service after being in recovery for many years. He is also a volunteer with the Samaritans, Night Link and Enable, which demonstrates his total dedication to helping people. John also runs a MAP group which has been running for many years, building up and supporting a strong network of attendees in an area that has been historically difficult to engage with. He is willing to offer support in any way he can, taking on phone mentoring during lockdown to help some of the service’s most vulnerable clients and liaises regularly with staff to alert them to any changes or concerns. John has overcome his technophobia to take part in online counselling sessions and support groups throughout lockdown. His kindness, compassion and constant determinations to improve the lives of people he meets is clearly evident. He believes that “kindness is the most important thing. If I can make one person smile then all the hard work is worthwhile”.
Geoff, who sadly passed away recently, was a volunteer at the Truro office for many years. He had mild learning difficulties and undiagnosed autism but had a talent for meticulous organisation and filing and utilised his skills regularly. He was an extremely popular member of the team and felt at home volunteering at the service – he was well known for his eccentric dress sense! Geoff grew more and more confident in the office and helped with a wide range of tasks, becoming invaluable to the day to day running of the service.
Allan referred himself to the service in 2017 for issues with cocaine and alcohol. He worked hard with his key worker to reduce and address his substance misuse issues and he credits her for sticking by him throughout his journey to recovery. He was a participant in ETE groups throughout his recovery and worked hard on his personal journey, at the same time as working with social services to reconnect with his four children – he is now a full time single parent to them. Allan is now a Community Recovery Champion and has promoted the service to new starters and other organisations. He is involved in peer groups and has undertaken training so that he can co-facilitate them alongside a member of staff. These groups are well attended and Allan is great at empowering and encouraging members of the group to focus on their personal recovery journeys. During lockdown, the groups were held over WhatsApp so that isolated clients could be supported more regularly and encouraged to maintain their abstinence. Allan is a true credit to the organisation.
Recovery in the Media
Libby Lloyd – Young Persons’ Service, Liverpool
Libby volunteers in our young persons service in Liverpool Libby wanted to volunteer with us as she is very interested in the subject matter and wanted to learn more, so she could gain valuable experience and knowledge around substance use and what the service does In the community. Although Libby was only 17 years old when she started with us, she is mature and professional in her approach and was not daunted coming in to volunteer with us, she was excited and rearing to go.
Libby from day one has been committed to doing as many days and hours as she can she does three days per week and is regular as clockwork, she is reliable and approachable and the staff know if she says she will help with something she will do so, for example:
When she was attending going to observe a member off staff deliver some drug awareness session, Libby went away researched the subject and before the training she went through with the member of staff what she had researched and they went over her findings and they were able to look at both sides and any areas where Libby could participate.
Mental Health Awareness week – Libby is passionate around this subject matter, during international Mental Health week, Libby was the main volunteer to send me posts on Anxiety, helpful tips and Info around peoples Mental Health,