Today we bring you the amazing, inspiring story of Gemma from Bishops House, a specialist supported living service that supports people with mental health needs.
Gemma has a background of depression and mental illness. When she first came to Bishops in March, there was no eye contact or talking from her and no confidence. She found it difficult to speak to staff about even the most simple things, such as what she wanted for dinner and often found the prospect of interacting with others extremely anxiety-inducing. She was also deemed agoraphobic and hated going outside.
Now, Gemma is a completely different person; oozing self-confidence!
Gemma was supported by staff to find things that she loved. Animals, especially cats, are something that she has always loved and so now, she volunteers each Friday at the local Cats Protection League. She looks after cats brought into the shelter and helps to give them a safe and nurturing environment. She also goes to the local allotment and gardens, even growing her own vegetables that she took back to Bishops House and cooked into a delicious meal! She also loves being outdoors now, and so she also volunteers for the Lift Off Work Trial, which makes sure that countryside walkways are clean and safe for individuals. Gemma has also been attending her local recovery college and has begun the first of four courses which will train her on wellbeing. The icing on the cake is that Gemma has started to have contact and meet up with her son again, something that, at one time, she thought might not ever be possible again.
A truly inspirational story from both Gemma and the incredible support she received by staff at Bishops House. Well done to all!