Chris is #BecomingVisible
Chris was a participant in the most recent Live Your Life Course. He volunteered to take part in our #BecomibngVisible campaign – and he wanted to use this opportunity to share his experience on the course.
“I went on the Live Your Life course to meet new people and to become more positive. In the course I got a lot of information about how to cope with things, thinking about how other people feel and how they react. People said that at the start I looked a bit down, but now I look more positive. I think being on the course brought my old self back.”
What made the biggest difference?
“The other people on the course made the biggest difference. They helped me. They made me feel that I was not alone and I didn’t have to do it myself. They gave me friendly advice. During the breaks, they would tell me to take my time and think, they would say that if I was struggling I could come to them.
I was going through difficult times. I was getting group calls and messages all night from 1 too many people on social media. Another person on the course gave me advice, he had had the same problem I did. When I listened to what he went through I thought ‘that’s what I need to do’. It wasn’t an easy decision to leave the groups or to block people in groups. It helped me to learn from others and what they have been through.
I hope that this campaign will encourage other people to join the course. It will help them to release stress and become more positive.
The course has changed my life.”
What does becoming visible mean to you?
get2gether gave me space where I can become visible – it has helped me to become more confident. With my LIVE videos on get2gether at home, I love helping and sharing my positive thoughts on positive chat with people and my meditation music as well.
The Live Your Life course was developed with the Thistle Foundation initially as a way of adapting their Lifestyle Management course to make it accessible for all adults with learning disabilities. Since the pilot, the course has gone through significant changes, but it continues to use the tried and tested methodologies of Solution Focused Therapy, Person Centred Planning, and Lifestyle Management.
“If you want a way to listen more, act calmer, be more assertive, it’s a bundle of good tips.” (Course Participant)
During lockdown, as with all get2gether activities, the course moved online. A happy outcome of this was that the course is now much more accessible for those who find it hard to travel, or who would need support to travel.
“I don’t think I would have done this course if it wasn’t online – I struggle to get out. I found it very rewarding” (Course Participant)
Across the 12 weeks, the course covers topics such as positivity, managing stress, understanding other people’s perspectives, listening, assertiveness, and managing emotions. It also holds a significant amount of time for participants to think about what they want from their own life, with a focus on participants learning how to support each other to reflect on this.
“The course gently redefined my priorities. I am now saying yes to what I want to do and no to other things.” (Course Participant)
People come on the course for many different reasons: stress and anxiety; to learn how to manage their emotions better; to gain confidence; because of frustrations in life. Whatever the reason though, one thing that is often reported in the evaluation is the positive impact of the others on the course, including the Peer Mentors. Being able to learn together, to discuss ideas with the group and to support each other has a much deeper impact on individual understanding and personal development.
“I liked that it was my peer group. I learned a lot about my peers and learned that I am not alone.” (Course Participant)