I’ve lived in Glasgow for the past 13 years but I’m originally from the countryside of Lancashire. They can take the lass out the North but not the Northerner out the lass! I believe I add a touch of cultural diversity to an already vibrant and eclectic mix of voices at RLP, even if it is limited at times to strong opinions on what to call a bread roll.
I came to Glasgow to study towards a degree in English at Glasgow University, graduating in 2013. Continuing on from this I completed an SVQ in Advice and Guidance within Services and gained my Certificate in Counselling Skills in association with Counselling & Psychotherapy Scotland (COSCA). Over the last 5 years I have also held lead volunteering roles with Turning Point Scotland, CrossReach Abstinence Recovery Service and the St Giles Trust, and currently volunteer at Move On Fareshare.
I believe my background of formal education and volunteering balances with my personal lived experience of trauma, substance misuse, mental health and criminal justice. Navigating the challenges of each has equipped me with the strengths, skills and resilience to actualise authentic change in service structures, and the motivation to empower real improvement in the lives of those facing adversities comparable to my own. RLP has given me a framework in which to make these compassionate drives practical realities and continue to pursue my true passion; creating meaningful and mutually beneficial connections.
In many ways RLP has become a third home for me since my introduction to it in March 2021 as a participant on their TIER Programme, proving that belonging is not always a condition of where you’re born but the product of supportive relationships, a safe and non-judgemental environment and the provision of choices that serve the fulfilment of your potential. RLP lives by its principles of working at all points through a Trauma Informed Lens for the betterment of its participants, staff and collaborators, and this was what appealed to me the most when I was offered the opportunity to return as a TIER Facilitator on their 2022 cohort – one I accepted wholeheartedly (after some mild disbelief).
To say I hit the ground running hardly does it justice! In addition to my role within TIER since joining RLP I have been privileged enough to work alongside Sanctuary Housing on their Community Development Project in Priesthill and as a contributor to the Authentic Voices Programme in conjunction with SaveLives and Improvement Service to embed lived experience in services supporting those effected by violence against women in Scotland. I also contribute to the monthly in-house blog offering insights into trauma and on a variety of issues impacting those that have encountered it. Much like us all RLP is far greater than the sum of its parts, and the doors it has opened for me so far remain a constant revelation; one I anticipate will only continue to grow and evolve with time.
Prospects for the future look exceptionally bright – from a personal perspective and in terms of the trajectory of the organisation as a whole. I’m eager to be taking this journey with all those associated with what we do and excited to see where this takes us together.