A place where I belong

Joy, RWC learner

February 26, 2024

If you have attended any of our courses at the Pathways site in Mirfield, you may have crossed paths with longstanding learner and ‘friend of’ the College, Joy. If so, you will know that she really is Joy by name and Joy by nature! She has kindly shared with us her Recovery College story….

“I started going to the Recovery & Wellbeing College in 2018 after a rare and complex health condition forced me to stop working years earlier. From the very beginning I was made to feel welcome, even though I initially found it a bit daunting and I was very quiet – although I haven’t shut up since that first day! The College is a place where I feel I belong, a feeling I had previously lost through the trauma of life.

I have been on loads of courses and have learnt so much, although I obviously have my favourites, Mosaics being one. After the course I bought myself a mosaics kit to continue practising my new skills at home and made gifts for my family. Learning new things, repeating the process and the pace of learning at the College is really helpful as normally I find learning difficult due to memory issues. It’s a great way to keep my brain ticking over and I’m always buzzing when I’ve learnt something new.

The Recovery College has given me not only some kind of routine but also a sense of worth. I have met some great people and I have learnt a lot about myself through them. It’s a place where you always get a warm welcome, where no-one judges you. It doesn’t matter about your past or whether you forget someone’s name (like I often do), everyone is understanding.

My advice for anyone thinking about enrolling would be to try and dig yourself out of that dark hole and give it a try. In my experience, sometimes you have to help yourself before other people can help you. Due to attending the College my moods and mental health have improved which helps deviate worries about my physical health, which although hasn’t improved I can (sort of) accept it better. Life is a roller coaster and with the help of everyone at the Recovery College, I just got to ride it! I can’t say thank you enough!”


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