Sometimes you just have to roll your sleeves up, take a deep breath and try something new!
Back in 2019 we worked with six family members with lived experience of someone else’s substance use to design and deliver a course for The Family Recovery College (FRC). They called the course ‘Understanding Substance Use and Holding on to Hope’. You can read all about how it went for those 10 students who signed up on our website.
Following this successful pilot, we had plans to run this course again in spring 2020. But circumstances changed and later on in 2020 we decided we would take the FRC online. The course began on Tuesday 17th November and finished on the 9th of February.
We asked the 2020/21 students why they decided to come on the FRC –
“I decided to do the recovery college because I wanted more knowledge on substances and I wanted to know the best way of dealing with substance abuse.”
“I decided to come on the FRC because I knew I didn’t have a clue what was happening in my life and I needed to do something to change where I was.”
“I decided to come on FRC as I wanted to share with others that understood me. Where I could speak openly without judgement.”
We asked students to tell us about their experience of doing an online course via Zoom – what was sound quality, streaming quality, following the content and participating like?
“Fully enjoyed and I thought it streamed well.”
“It was an interactive experience and I had a variable experience streaming.”
“Good option for people who are anxious. They could stay at home and not have to deal with outside anxieties.”
“Relatively simple to use, with a bit of help from you.”
“Technology seemed too hard but I did it.”
“People in remote and rural areas really have benefitted hugely.”
Students joined us from all over Scotland – the Borders, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, The Highlands, Shetland Islands, Edinburgh, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Angus and Moray.
We asked students whether it was what they expected –
“I expected a safe space but apart from that, I really didn’t know what to expect from FRC!”
“I didn’t really know what to expect to be honest because I had never done anything like this before. It exceeded my expectations though without a doubt.”
What was the most important piece of learning for you? –
“Obviously I gained a lot of knowledge from attending FRC but the main thing that I learned was about myself. I learned that I wasn’t alone. I also learned that I was so much stronger than I gave myself credit for and that it’s ok not to be ok.”
“The most important piece of learning for me was the communication and just seeing things from a different perspective. I liked how it just wasn’t family members but also people in recovery and it was good to listen to their stories and experiences. Also gave me hope for the future and recovery can come one day for our loved ones.”
“I found an opportunity to have a second chance at life. That I was here to help me and that I was worth loving.”
What would you say to someone else thinking about coming on the course? –
“I would highly recommend the course to anyone. I learned a lot of helpful information and made me think about things in a different way. Before the course I felt very alone and judged and wasn’t feeling very hopeful about the future but this has changed now and I’m taking one day at a time.”
“To anyone thinking about coming onto FRC. My advice would be….DO IT! Grab this opportunity with both hands. The confidence I have gained through FRC has given me back a more positive outlook. My group was amazing. The people, Susie (obviously), just everything about FRC has given me so much power back in my life.”
“If I was to say one sentence to someone who was thinking about coming on this course. You are no longer alone, you are and always have been good enough and you are loved.”
We are already receiving interest for future courses and we look forward to seeing more students come through The Family Recovery College in 2021. We would also like to thank the people who have recommended this course to families they are supporting. Thanks also to our sponsor BlackRock. If you want to find out more please contact Susie McClue who would be happy to have a chat –firstname.lastname@example.org