One of the biggest strengths of S2C, I always feel, is that there is a real community within those that attend. Well maybe community is not strong enough, some have called it the S2C “Family”. That comes from the knowledge that everyone is the same at S2C regardless of what role they play or the problems they have. It also comes from the knowledge that when you do have a problem there are those around you who will support you and try to help you.
The thing you need to be aware of is to avoid it becoming a closed community. New people should always feel welcome into it and not feel excluded because of the simple fact of unfamiliarity. A big part of this too is trust. It takes time to trust when you are fragile, as many of those are who attend S2C. Clearly there are roles and there are those who need to make decisions and take responsibility but even though they have that role that does not mean they need to be in any way less supportive or part of the family.
Working together as equals is important to the aim of rebuilding the confidence of those who attend. Not just the vulnerable service users recovering from issues, but also the volunteers who deal with all sorts of problems and issues in supporting those service users. In order for an organisation to create the feeling that everyone is valued and supported everyone is treated equally and everyone should know that when they need it the team is behind them.
When you know you have that support and community with you then as a service user you can begin to build your recovery and as a volunteer you can build your confidence and skills. The result is that everyone grows together, at different speeds, at different rate and in different directions but the net gains are everyone’s.
We face things together and move things forward together.
It’s a shame that more of the world we live in does not work this way, it could only be a better place for it.
Some of the artwork from our community this week: