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Billy's Story
 

Billy has been with the charity first as client and then as a volunteer for the past year after a Google search for trauma therapy brought him to self-refer. Unlike other services which only offered therapy, Pathways to Hope with its combination of 24 counselling sessions and 16 weeks of group wellbeing activities appealed to him. From the start, he was looking forward to the group wellbeing sessions and was excited to learn something new. By participating in photography and craft sessions, Billy’s creative side appeared:

 

“I didn’t think I was creative at all but I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it. The wellbeing sessions were amazing for me.”

 

The combination of growing self-awareness through counselling and pleasurable activities in a safe group setting worked well for Billy and he soon decided that he wanted to help others in their journeys.

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“My experience with Trauma Healing Together has been transformational…such an amazing experience with not only the personal therapy but also working with the charity. People are always there to help, even when you don’t realise that you need it.”

On completion of Pathways to Hope, Billy felt that he wanted to give something back to the charity and gain some skills for future employment and so volunteered to be a Peer Group Facilitator. Although he had graduated from university with a degree in Community Education, placements had been cancelled due to covid and so he didn’t feel as if he had the confidence and experience to apply for jobs

 

To anyone thinking of becoming a Peer Group Facilitator, Billy says, “Get out of your comfort zone and learn some new skills as you don’t know what you’ll get from this- so many doors can open from doing it.” One of those doors for Billy was the opportunity to facilitate a group on a twelve-week programme of outdoor skills called Branching Out, which was run by a partner organisation. Liaising with partners and meeting new people has helped Billy’s confidence grow.

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To anyone thinking of becoming a Peer Group Facilitator, Billy says, “Get out of your comfort zone and learn some new skills as you don’t know what you’ll get from this- so many doors can open from doing it.” One of those doors for Billy was the opportunity to facilitate a group on a twelve-week programme of outdoor skills called Branching Out, which was run by a partner organisation. Liaising with partners and meeting new people has helped Billy’s confidence grow.

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Peer group facilitating was a good step, and it was good at helping me. The training left me feeling confident; it was thorough training. For me, it was about seeing the transformation in people and hearing their stories. I enjoyed seeing things from a different perspective and it made me realise that I was in a much better place mentally than I had been.

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