Tina Farrell, Kirsty Glossop, John Reilly, Steven McDonald and Beverley Bankole
Tina Farrell – Positive People, Cornwall
Tina is an absolute inspiration to other Positive People clients, especially female service users. After more than 40 years living in chaos and destruction, she has arrived at a place of calm where she feels able to work with other women in recovery, who had had similar experiences to her. Despite lacking in confidence in her own self-worth, Tina continues to show her immense resilience and kept on growing and facing the obstacles that challenged her. She is supportive, knowledgeable and has the warmest heart and most infectious laugh. As a Volunteer Peer Mentor, she shares her enthusiasm for life and recovery to other survivors, has spoken with insight and compassion to a room of prisoners and prison staff, has co-facilitated a women’s only empowerment course, has co-facilitated a weekly self-care session for women and given hours of face to face and phone support. Throughout lockdown, Tina has continued to support the team online, delivering a weekly ‘virtual cuppa’ session for women. She is an example that there is nothing that cannot be achieved if it is something you really want, even in the darkest of days. Tina is reliable and is many clients’ go to person for advice and a friendly chat. She is now studying to become a Peer Mentor with the Women’s Centre, which will allow her to work specifically with women involved in the Criminal Justice System.
North and West
Kirsty Glossop – Shropshire Recovery Partnership
Kirsty has come such a long way since joining the service, dealing with and sharing her past with courage. Currently, she is single-handedly taking on the volunteering responsibilities in Shropshire and proving the invaluable resource that volunteers and recovery champions are to the service. She is constantly willing to meet or phone service users who need support in addition to that they are receiving from their Keyworkers. Kirsty has produced a database detailing all support networks in the community and a leaflet for service users to take away for reflection after groups they attend. She is a true asset to the team; nothing is too much trouble and she is always willing to learn more and participate in activities. Kirsty is extremely professional in her attitude towards her role, her case notes are very thorough, and she pays close attention to avoid things getting confused. Throughout the pandemic, she has been part of the team continuing to go into the office and help keep the service running and she has also worked tirelessly from home. Kirsty is currently supporting the redesign of the detox treatment plan for recovery, as staff and managers have recognised her unique and diverse knowledge of what a service user needs during their recovery. She puts people at ease and guides service users through attending meetings. Kirsty is always honest about her past struggles and uses her deep empathy to support others looking to achieve recovery.
John Reilly – Dundee
John has been a volunteer for 6 years and his continued commitment, support and dedication to the Service and individuals is inspirational. He has had his own personal battles to face and is now giving back to the service after previously being a service user. John relishes the challenges and experiences of volunteering, is always willing to learn and expand his knowledge and has quickly become an integral team member. For the past 4 years, John has volunteered with the Community Hub where he works tirelessly to promote, underpin and enhance their work and makes time for everyone who walks through the door. He is happy to share his personal recovery journey and this has helped him to get through to some of the service’s most vulnerable clients and link them to the correct agencies. John works alongside project workers in many ways through one to one sessions with clients, completing recovery tools and acting as a buddy for those involved in community groups. Despite working full time, he unselfishly gives so much time and energy to volunteering, going above and beyond to help those most in need. John has raised large amounts for the Community Hub and We Are With You and is always looking for new fundraising ideas. He is a role model to staff, volunteers and all who use the service.
North and East
Steven McDonald – Redcar and Cleveland
Steven entered treatment saying he would be “dead in the not too distant future” and worked hard throughout his recovery to get his life back together. As his treatment journey was coming to an end he said that he felt “some people think asking for help is a sign of weakness but it takes real courage to admit you have an issue and I want to help other people, I owe that to the service for giving me my life back”. Steven committed himself to the Recovery Champion Training and began attending groups to learn from others and begin to connect with service users. Having been in the armed forces, Steven co-set up a Veteran’s Group and learnt about the Right Turn Project so that he could network with other mutual aid groups. Throughout lockdown he phoned service users who had been in the armed forces to encourage them to keep in touch and talk about how they were feeling as well as use online services. He shows respect to anyone who uses the service and is an open book, sharing his story with humour and hope. Without his determination and commitment, the Veterans group would not be running.
Bev transferred over as an existing Volunteer from Compass when we launched ARC MK with CNWL NHS Trust on 1st April. The service has had a challenging 6 months, implementing a new service, in a new partnership, in the middle of a global pandemic and there have been a lot of changes in terms of how the volunteer programme is running. Throughout Bev has demonstrated stoicism enthusiasm and commitment to volunteering with the service and her amazing abilities to engage with our service users and put them at ease as well as providing support and assistance to staff have shone through!
As a recent example Bev has volunteered to contact service users who were on the caseload of a staff member who was off sick. She worked through the list of people quickly and efficiently and was observed to have a great rapport with service users, asking them great questions and dealing with any concerns/queries. She has also recently contacted clients who were about to join a new alcohol group. She confirmed whether they were going to attend and provided support and answered queries to help reassure them. In both scenarios not only did Bev provide a great service to our service users but she also wrote up excellent notes which the service could use to put directly on to the case management system