Student Placement from Buddies Visit, July 2019
“I first joined Red Rose Recovery as the volunteer counsellor, doing placement there for my University Degree.
I was given the opportunity to visit a local prison and meet some of the people who are there. I found this experience to be emotional and wonderful in the same breath.
I became emotional at the stories I heard but felt a real connection when talking to individuals there.
I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with people I wouldn’t have met in everyday life, I took a lot from their journey and really hope they continue to move in the direction they wish to go.
I enjoyed completing the quiz with my partner as this gave us a chance to just be normal, whatever normal means to them. There were no questions about why they where there and no pressure to tell their story if they didn’t want to. It just felt like two people engaging in conversation.
I think offering this kind of service to inmates is only going to benefit everyone involved, it gives me personally, the chance to learn about different walks of life and become less ignorant to the reality of a prison sentence. I feel it gives the inmates the chance to talk to someone who isn’t paid to be there and offers the comfort that we chose to go and spend our time with them.
I loved the experience and I can’t wait to attend again and get to know more people, I want to thank Red Rose Recovery and the staff at the local prison for the opportunity.”
Volunteer, July 2019
What brought you here? How did you hear about Red Rose Recovery?
“I began at RRR as a volunteer, quickly being taken on as a lead volunteer. I have been given an opportunity to visit a local prison as a buddy for the prison buddy scheme and have done this twice, as well as visiting with Red Rose to promote the project.”
How has Red Rose Recovery helped you?
“This has helped me with learning to listen to the individual’s unique stories, I do not see this as an opportunity to pry but to give them an opportunity to express themselves to an impartial person who is interested in their lives and to offload to a third person. It has also helped me approach people who I have never met before, this has helped me to combat my anxiety by making the first step with networking and making a difference. It is helping my professionalism grow with working with people from all walks of life.”
What positive outcomes have you achieved since you first engaged with Red Rose?
“Visiting the local prison today gave me an amazing sense of self-worth, I was able to use my assets today to forge a friendship with one inmate, he had anxiety and I was able to relax him by introducing myself and using open body language. Rather than sitting opposite him divided by a table I asked if I was able to sit next to him, so we weren’t having to raise our tone and he felt more comfortable. He left with a smile on his face and seeming a lot more relaxed.”
What other services have you linked in with since you first engaged with Red Rose?
“The service I linked in with today was the local prison.”
What do you now have in your life?
“Confidence, self-worth, value, friends, management of my anxiety, ability to overcome barriers.”
What do you still want to achieve?
“More skills and knowledge with mental health and addiction, progression, to be able to help others with my progression, training. The local prison is able to offer us training exercises and we can partake in other activities within it such as dog therapy sessions, this will be a brilliant experience if this happens as we are able to have a more in depth look at what prisons do to help their inmates.”
Lancaster Farms, 2018
“The visitors stayed for the whole session and in the words of one of the group peers, ‘I was blown away’.
It made Recovery ‘real’. As 3 of the Red Rose volunteers had been acquaintances with some of the group on previous sentences.
The visit has inspired the group to ‘have what they have’.
Summed up perfectly by one of the group stating ‘you know what, I can do this’.
We really appreciate the offer of time your staff and volunteers gave us to inspire our service users about their own recovery.”
Service User, 2018
“I came to Preston, straight out of rehab because I was told Preston had a good recovery network. I needed to be around people and importantly, people in recovery. I was shown the inspire building on my first day. It looked welcoming and bright, I was rushed off though by my housing agent to the town hall to organise my housing allowance.
Over the next few weeks I came to inspire for various groups as a service user. I found that by far the most active and helpful organisation working there was Red Rose Recovery. Through the Red Rose groups, I quickly made friends. This was so very important to me because isolation has previously been a contributing factor to relapses in the past. The staff at Red Rose were so very welcoming, friendly and encouraging. One arranged 1 to 1 counselling for me which proved to be very beneficial to my recovery and another, as well being inspiration on legs, helped me practically too. I was struggling at the house I shared, and he arranged for great accommodation at another recovery organisation.
As I write, I am waiting to facilitate a peer lead group. I have progressed so far since arriving in a new environment. Much of this is down to Red Rose Recovery and their staff. I would like to thank them will all my heart.”
Service User, 2018
“I would like to thank the staff at Red Rose Recovery for all their help over recent months. They are the most caring organisation who have chaired recovery meetings, made counselling recommendations and most recently helped me find housing when I was at a loss of what to do. A special mention should go to one staff member in particular, who was the kindest of people and good at their job.”
“I am so grateful to Red Rose Recovery for the opportunity for me to be involved in such a fantastic project. Since day one I have learned so much and will continue to learn new skills with plastering and plumbing and the opportunity to make new friends has been a massive bonus. This is the one project I love coming to to be with my new friends who cheer me up no end when I’m not feeling at my best.”
“My Recovery Coach helped me to believe in myself and gave me the inspiration, support and confidence to move forward. When my coaching ended I felt that I had a real purpose in life and wanted to continue helping other people along with my own recovery. I went on to complete the Recovery Coach training and really enjoyed it. I now have my own coachees and helping them to achieve a happy and fufilling life.”