Ginny’s story: “Going down to the hub was a lifeline for me.”

Ginny’s story

When Ginny first started coming to our BeWell@StepOne craft peer support group in Paignton, she was recovering from brain surgery. Going to the hub at this point was “a lifeline” for her. Now a peer support volunteer, Ginny shares her experience of overcoming this life-changing event and finding her way back to herself with the help of Step One’s supportive environment and through community connection

“Hello, my name is Ginny Smalley.

I’m a peer supporter for Step One Charity.

I work out of Torbay Hub and what I do is I talk to people, welcome them and I encourage them into the groups that we have.

Why? Well when I started off, I was brought down by a friend. I had a serious accident and I ended up having my brain washed, which meant I spent a year and a half coming back to being me. So going down to the hub at that point was like a lifeline for me. It meant I could meet other people; I could form friendships; I could help to run courses as I was a teacher and I enjoyed it immensely.

I do all sorts of things. I teach crafts I hope I help with the empathy and the humility of the group, I’m also rather naughty, which they seem to enjoy. It certainly improves my life and I hope it improves theirs too.

So I’ve moved from just being a participant to being a leader. I’ve done several exams in mental health, just because I’m interested, no other reason. I thoroughly enjoy it and I hope more people will come down and enjoy our friendship because that’s what it’s about, making friends, getting out, talking if you want to, you don’t have to. You can sit still, be quiet, have a nice cup of coffee or you can get included.

So that’s me.”

Ginny’s journey with Step One so far is a heartwarming story of kindness and friendship that has transformed her life, allowing her to take steps forward to a brighter future. Your donations to Step One help people like Ginny improve their mental health and wellbeing and live life to the fullest.

Our BeWell@StepOne peer support groups are run by two of our course trainers and offer you an opportunity to meet others, share your experiences, discuss the techniques learnt in our courses, and develop self-management techniques to maintain good mental health.

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