“I spoke to my GP who gave me the number for First Response who referred me to Haven. The second I walked in to Haven it was such a relief; I knew that this was going to work. I had a 1-1 session with Emily, she was so lovely. For the first time someone was listening to me and actually understanding.
I’d been to counselling before and got nowhere, with Emily there was an immediate feeling of empathy. The session felt personalised, not a set of questions and smiling and nodding, I felt understood because she’d been there and she got it. I started the peer support group – it was a really powerful session, we were such a diverse group and it was the first day that I felt hope.
I’m a singer and a musician, but when I was ill I wouldn’t even listen to music. Now I’m singing again. Our mental health is happening all of the time, it does take over and so being able to go somewhere and talk openly about what was going on was such a relief. Since I’ve started talking my family have been more able to, you wouldn’t believe how many people share similar experiences.”
“When I first came here I felt so inadequate, I felt like I was completely useless and I didn’t matter but even when I was ill and it was really hard to talk to people, I could still be with other people and they understood.
Coming here helped me overcome my own prejudices about people with mental health problems who were out of work. I used to think there was no hope for them, that they were lost and I was going to become one of those other people. Of course being at The Cellar Trust I’ve realised that there are no other people, these are people just like anyone else and I’m totally accepting of things. And that’s enlightening.
I’m far more sociable now. I’d been really isolated but since I have been here I have met so many people from so many different backgrounds. It is horrendous to think where I would have been without The Cellar Trust. I dread to think where I would have been. It’s frightening. I would be at home isolated and the more isolated I became, the more mentally ill I would have become.
The work placement at Shipley Health Store was the biggest benefit factor in the improvement of my mental health. Because of the nature of the shop I could go in at a basic level. At first I was just decanting oils into little glass boxes and that was enough for me. Over the weeks my confidence has grown and I now serve in the shop. I love the people, the place, the work and I have realised oh my God I am quite capable, I can work in a shop, I can handle money, and I can talk to people. Suddenly all my skills have come to the surface and my confidence has grown and it’s all through The Cellar Trust. Now I am starting a paid job there but it doesn’t feel like work to me because I enjoy that place so much. It is like going to meet friends.
In the future I would like to carry on working for Shipley Health Store and ideally I would like to combine that with voluntary work. That would be perfect.”
“Before I came here I had nothing at all. It is something to get up for. I come here and it is wonderful. I was very worried before I came but from the moment I met Diane, my Vocational Development Specialist, I was at ease. Here you have found room for me. I haven’t had that before. To be treated like a human being for a change… it isn’t something I was used to.
It’s brilliant working in the café. Heather who manages the Café is extremely patient and explains everything properly. If you make a mistake it doesn’t matter and you can learn. I have gained a lot of confidence and I have been able to do things in my own time. At first I wouldn’t come out of the kitchen, now I feel happy coming out to serve customers.
I now feel happy about the future and am looking forward to it. Every night I used to pray that I’d die in my sleep and I would dread the alarm going off. Now I can’t wait for it to go off because I am coming here. I would like to thank The Cellar Trust for giving me a chance.”