October Cover Story

October Cover Story

We’re saying a warm goodbye to our wonderful Ambassador, Katrina, who is moving on to pursue her dreams of studying to become a Classroom Assistant for children with additional support needs.

Katrina has been an asset to get2gether and it has been a pleasure to watch her flourish in her role. The get2gether team have learned so much from her and we wish her ALL the best with her future endeavours and know she has a bright future ahead.

Want to celebrate her time at get2gether with us? Then come along to our Karaoke Disco on Friday the 23rd of September at Craigmillar Hearts Club from 7pm-11pm!

Katrina and member Tracey at the last Karaoke Disco, July 2022

How long have you been a get2gether ambassador for?

I’ve actually been an Ambassador twice for get2gether. The first time I did it for 18 months and then took a break to focus on my mental health. And then I re-applied in September 2017, and have been working for get2gether ever since. So in total 6.5 years! I am working until the 30th of September, which will be my last day. Members can come along and say goodbye to me (as ambassador!) at our Karaoke Disco on the 23rd of September at Craigmillar Hearts Community Club.

How did you originally discover get2gether? 

Through my ex-boss and previous get2gether Project Manager, Marion. I remember being in Dunbar in East Lothian and getting a phone call about an idea for an organisation for social events for adults with disabilities and I thought ‘this all sounds too good to be true!’. Marion had gotten my details from Elcap. She invited me and Nicola and 3 others to a meeting and gave us a job of getting as many people together for a launch party at the Corn Exchange. 200 people ended up coming!

get2gether’s East Lothian Launch Night, 2013

What have been your highlights as a get2gether ambassador? 

I’ve enjoyed a lot of things – too many highlights to choose from! For me, this job has never been about the money, because money doesn’t always make you happy. The thing that has made me happy is working with the members. It’s given me a sense of pride and joy to see how they look up to me and other ambassadors. They see that we’re running the events and they feel confident in running member-led events as well with our help! We’ve got a good balance in the staff team as well where we have ambassadors with lived experience and a paid job and it’s nice to have some of the sessional workers as well. You can have any kind of role but it still feels very much like you are valued as part of the team. I don’t think many people out there can say they have a good staff team where everyone gets on and everyone is unique. We all bring different things to the job. We’re all one big family. 

I also really liked taking on the new role of ‘Co-facilitator’ of the Live Your Life course. I would never have seen myself taking on that kind of leadership role a few years ago. I think the skills I’ve learned in this job and the leadership course I did have made me more self-determined. Being on the course and being a peer mentor also helped me to ease into the ‘Co-facilitator’ role. And I couldn’t ask for a better person to work with than Clare, the other co-facilitator on the course. If there was ever anything I was unsure about, I knew she was on the other end of the phone or on zoom to help me understand. 

What are your plans for the future?

My head will be in study mode once I get started on my course in October. I’m going to be studying to become a Classroom Teaching Assistant working with children with additional support needs and may need one-to-one attention. I’ve previously done a Level 2 and Level 3 in Childcare, I went for numerous interviews but I needed more experience. I’ve always wanted to work with children in some capacity, especially since I’ve not been able to have kids of my own. But, the beauty of working with kids is that you can go back at the end of the day and hand them back! Marion has also inspired me because she used to work as a teacher at a special needs school. Even though I won’t be an ambassador, you aren’t getting rid of me that easy! I will still be attending events as a member, and possibly volunteering when I have time. 

Katrina speaking at Scottish Parliament, 2019

What have you learned from your time as a get2gether ambassador?

I’ve learned a lot – too many to mention! And I’m passing on knowledge to Natalie, get2gether’s newest ambassador, before I go and have done so with any new colleagues that have come on board. It took me between 6 months – a year to get to grips with separating my work as a staff member and enjoying get2gether as a member with my friends. As time went on, I made the job my own and I encourage the future ambassador to do that. The beauty of being an ambassador is being able to maintain friendships whilst working, like working half of ATIK club night, and spending the other half with friends.

Katrina, Mojca and members at the Midlothian Launch, Glitter Ball 2017

Final thoughts?

I’m going to miss working with everybody. I’ll miss working with the members too to help them host events. But I’m looking forward to celebrating get2gether’s milestone of 10 years! It’s really strange to think it has been ten whole years – time has flown by! I’m also definitely going to be winding up Stephan when he is working and I can have a drink and he can’t – haha! I’ve always gotten along with the ambassadors and I will miss working with them and the rest of get2gether.

Come and celebrate Katrina’s time with get2gether at our Karaoke Disco on Friday the 23rd of September from 7pm-11pm at Craigmillar Hearts Club!

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