On Thursday 18th July Second Step held an event for staff, carers and clients. The theme of the the event was Making Connections and lots was discussed during the day around this.
Before breaking for lunch a panel discussion was held featuring four people with lived experience discussing their own experience of connections and how that applied to their lives.
Bev who is Involvement Officer for Second Step talked about her role as carer for her son and the importance of making connections so she can be an effective advocate for him. She talked about the power of standing up to be counted when professionals want you to be quiet and how advocating for her son has got him into a much better position now than he was in a year ago.
Claire is Second Step’s Digital Communications Officer and she talked about the importance of making connections when you are lonely. She discussed being more proactive in your own life so that you have some control over the loneliness.
Jason is chair of the IF Group and talked about the importance of family, and how is life has changed significantly since his son was born. One of the things he said which held resonance for the audience was “we’re equals and we can learn from each other.”
Neil is active on service user involvement groups and talked about the importance of connections with yourself, your values and recovery. He talked about his time being homeless and how he made a conscious decision to “re-enter society” and how that was really hard for someone who had become very distanced from the world around him.
All of the speakers evoked emotion in the audience and received thanks for taking part from many audience members.