I started with SFAD in November 2017, stealing the “New Girl” Title from Justina. I plan on clinging onto it for as long as I can and many of my sentences begin or end with … I’m not sure about that, because I’m new … suppose that might wear a bit thin soon … but not yet!
I’ve had a whirlwind start in my role as Forth Valley Family Support Development Officer and in my very first week I attended the SFAD Family Conference, I couldn’t have had a better induction! It was brilliant getting to meet so many people right at the very start and it made going along to the four, already established, Family Support Groups in Forth Valley less daunting as I had already met some of the family members.
I love working with people, especially in groups, it’s amazing how much people can grow and change in positive ways when they have the opportunity to come together with other people that really understand their struggles. Family members are so willing to share their experiences and help others feel less isolated and it’s really a privilege to be part of that.
It’s hard to explain fully what this type of role entails, my sons think my job is “drinking tea and talking” and it’s hard to argue with that as I do a lot of both!
For me supporting families to overcome barriers and see a more positive future is about turning a light on in what can be a very dark place for some people. My primary aim is to get the families I support to find hope that recovery is possible and likely. I’m not here to tell people what to do or how to do it but I will help them to find out what their options are and try my best to keep them going on days when they feel they have nothing left to give.
I’m really looking forward to adding CRAFT (Community Education and Family Training) Groups to the support available for families in Forth Valley and I’m hoping that along with family members we can become more active in the Forth Valley Recovery Community, adding our skill and strength as a group to the recovery movement.
A favourite saying of mine is “It’s not easy but it is worth it” I know that sounds like a cheesy quote from a cat poster but hope is a powerful defence to have so I’m going to keep using it!