“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.”
“I was referred as a client in 2014, through my support worker as I was off sick from work and in recovery for clinical depression and a psychotic episode. Despite finding this period in my life challenging, I have also found it extremely rewarding and the Cellar Trust has been the catalyst for this. I believe that without the support and help the staff at the Trust have provided I would not be where I am at today- a paid working member of staff at Haven, a crisis service based in Shipley.
I was assigned a support and development worker straight away, who encouraged me to engage with the services and workshops that the trust provided and my earliest opportunity to build my confidence and self- esteem was Stepping Stones a 12 week structured program for transition back into employment. Alongside this I also worked voluntarily on the reception, answering the phone and dealing face to face with the general public. This taught me the importance of using empathy and respect when dealing with others. The social aspect to my time at The Cellar Trust made it easier to discuss my issues with people who had gone through similar mental health experiences and their journey to recovery. I’ve adopted a holistic approach to my own personal recovery, something the Cellar Trust encouraged and try to manage my life and illness as best I can with the resources I have, continuing to take my medication as advised by my GP whilst adopting other self- care practices such as regular exercise, stress management and seeking socialisation and support.
I started employment at The Cellar Trust Haven in August 2016, my first job since I was made redundant from Teaching in late 2013 so my facilitation skills were relevant and fresh and I could transfer them easily into a work environment. My experiences and training have also me how best to support a service user in a person centred way and help them maintain their individuality and dignity. I can help others with my experiences of self-care, self- esteem and confidence and managing difficult emotions.”