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Claire Wadsworth is our Family Support Development Officer working within the East Dunbartonshire area. 

Mobile - 07986 205 358

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A Day in the Life of Claire.........

I am without doubt the dinosaur of Scottish Families; I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been on ‘Twitter’ or ‘Facebook’ and even my 91 year old granny puts me to shame as she taps away effortlessly on her ipad (her favourite 90th birthday present!) 

So you can imagine my dismay when I was asked to write a ‘blog’…a what?! Usually when I am forced to do anything involving some kind of social media awareness I look for someone 12 or under to help me, but this time my children just rolled their eyes and told me it was ‘kind of like writing a diary’. That seemed simple enough, even for me, however when I started thinking about what I would put in my diary entry it wasn’t that easy. You see, there is no average day as a Family Support Development Worker in East Dunbartonshire, which is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much.

I don’t want this to be a cheesy ‘I love my job’ blog as there are definitely difficult days when I feel emotionally drained and helpless but these days are far outweighed by the days when I know our service has made a difference to someone and there is no greater feeling in my book (sorry,blog!)

A big part of my week is spent meeting family members for a coffee and a chat. Sometimes I’ll meet a ‘new’ family member with someone who has been coming to the group for a while.  I realise it can be a daunting thought, walking into a support group, not knowing anyone or thinking you are going to have to tell your life story to complete strangers which is why I like to meet people first .  I explain more about the groups but if they still don’t feel it’s for them I am happy to continue meeting them for one-to-one support and advice.

The support group is one of the highlights of my week, which seems an odd thing to say…how can I enjoy listening to people talking about the heartache that often goes hand-in-hand with loving someone who is drug or alcohol dependant? However, seeing the weight lifted off people’s shoulders when they realise that other people are experiencing similar situations and going through the same roller coaster of emotions, is so rewarding.

Many times people have agreed to come along to the group on the condition they don’t have to speak, which of course they don’t. However inevitably, after listening to other people and feeling the honesty and trust in the room, they feel able to tell a bit about their situation and it’s lovely to watch the others offer reassurance and compassion.

In the groups there is lots of laughter and chat but we also spend discussing Dr Bob Meyers CRAFT methods and how using them, can improve relationships. Evidence shows that family members who use CRAFT and attend support groups feel less stressed and isolated. I use it CRAFT methods with my own children, although when I’m yelling at them to get out the house for school they love saying ‘is that what Dr Bob says you should do?’ which of course, makes me yell louder! 

If I could offer one piece of advice to any family member reading this, it would be, please find out if there are any family support groups in your area or phone our helpline and talk to someone. I know I promised to try not to be cheesy (and this is super cheesy but true) a problem shared really is a problem halved .