Derby City Life Links recently turned one year old! We decided it was the perfect time to take stock of how far we have come and celebrate the outstanding things our clients, volunteers and staff have achieved. Our Service Advisory Group, made up of people we have and do support, decided a perfect way to reflect would be to have a celebration day. They organised it all, from initially sourcing venue, right through to arranging speakers and the food!
The celebration day was held at Derby YMCA on Thursday 7 November. People who have received support, volunteers, partner agencies and our staff team attended the day. Our service manager and chair of the day, Becky, kicked things off by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending.
Lauren Jones, one of our volunteers and Service Advisory Group member, then gave an inspiring talk on her own recovery and how Richmond Fellowship services were able to be part of this. Lauren’s focus on peer support, the benefits of volunteering and the values of Recovery were really powerful. You can find out more about Lauren and the great work she does by visiting her website or following her on Twitter
Dave Gardner (Commissioner) and Christine Lawrence (Area Manager) were up next to give a service review of our achievements and lessons learned over the past year. For instance, we have received 1,500 calls and emails to our information line over the past year. We have also received almost 400 referrals for our one-to-one, recovery education or peer support services.
We were then honoured to have Owen read out his story, on behalf of himself and his partner Nicky. Owen is Nicky’s carer, and he spoke how he felt they had always been treated as a team, rather than him being a ‘tag along’. We were so thrilled to hear how they feel the service helps them.
Following Owen was our information line volunteer, Josh. Josh has been dedicated to our service for months and has helped countless people on the helpline. He explained how he has felt supported by our team and has had lots of opportunities to attend events. For instance, he was involved in the R U OK campaign at Derby train station and will soon presenting at Derby County’s Team Talk, an excellent initiative to help men with their mental health. Thank you Josh – we really appreciate the work you do!