A Personal Journey with Living Well

Thank you for to Mike (Islington, London) for this testimonial; having accessed a range of HIV services with Living Well, he now works with us as one of our fantastic facilitators!

“My journey with Living Well began as a participant on the Positive Self-Management Programme (PSMP) in 2011. Having gained invaluable insight into various aspects of living with a long-term chronic condition, I decided I wanted to find out more and make a contribution.

I was therefore delighted to receive a phone call in May 2012 asking if I would be interested in attending the upcoming training as a PSMP facilitator. I attended the training at the THT Lighthouse West London office in July 2012 and had an interesting and enjoyable week, learning new skills, making fresh contacts and benefiting from the combined knowledge of three very experienced and affable facilitators. The venue has a beautiful garden within which to enjoy what were unusually balmy July temperatures and excellent and nutritious lunches and breaks.

Having passed my training, I was asked to join the next PSMP running at the small chapel at St Charles’ Centre for Health and Wellbeing, West London, a venue I was already familiar with having attended a Life Club there run by Living Well earlier that year. I was inducted by a very experienced lead facilitator who coached and supported me throughout. Once I completed the programme, having successfully passed my assessment, I then went on to co-facilitate the next PSMP from February-March 2013.

I have attended three Life Clubs with Living Well, two in Westminster and one in Kensington and Chelsea, and benefited through gaining clarity in my thinking, goal setting and in particular keeping a diary of things I was grateful for on a daily basis. Many of the skills I learned I have applied and continue to do so in my day-to-day life.

I also attended a weekend workshop called ‘Velvet Rage: The Quest’ where I learned a lot about intimacy and gained peer support which furnished me with the confidence I needed to break old patterns of behaviour and forge a new direction in my life. Similarly, I profited hugely from the counselling services offered by Living Well who were very accommodating in helping me find the most appropriate venue, therapist and time that suited my lifestyle.

Returning to the PSMP, I am enjoying learning new skills and watching how groups form and consolidate beyond the learning environment into friendship, or support networks and that I think is one of the programme’s greatest achievements.

I am grateful to the team at Living Well for encouraging and nourishing my growth from a nervous first-time participant on the PSMP programme to my current increasingly confident role of co-facilitator. I look forward to the next direction I will take using my skills either with Living Well or elsewhere…”

Mike

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