When Sandra Bellamy started her writing blog quirkybooks.wordpress.com in November of 2010, little did she know, that 3 years later, she would become a Tutor for the Devon Recovery Learning Community (RLC), teaching ‘Blogging as an aid to recovery and Facebook and Twitter for recovery from mental ill health.
The Devon Recovery Learning Community are part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust. They offer a variety of educational, practical and creative courses. The courses are specifically designed for people with lived experience of mental health difficulties, their family and friends and the professionals who support them. Almost every course is co-tutored. One tutor must have experience of teaching or a formal teaching qualification, the other tutor will have lived experience of mental ill health. Some tutors may have both.
When I asked Sandra how she became involved with the Devon Recovery Learning Community, this is what she had to say:
” Having suffered with anxiety and depression in the past, a couple of years ago, I was one of the first people to attend the anxiety and depression clinic. It was new at the time. At that point in my life, I had already freed myself from depression without the need for medication. The only thing I was concerned about, was getting my anxiety levels down by talking my problems through and finding practical ways of coping. To cut a long story short, I had to leave the service because it wasn’t working for me, I began to feel depressed again and that was just no good for me so I left and got myself better again. After a period of time I was referred to an organisation called Workways and they were brilliant. By that time, one of the main causes of my anxiety had thankfully left my life. Workways are not a counselling service but I didn’t need one of those since I wasn’t depressed anymore. The staff at Workways are trained to help people with mental ill health to get back into work and to help them in their first year of employment. Workways helped me to feel empowered in the workplace by talking through any issues that cropped up and how best to deal with them. My advisor had always been supportive of my plans to run my own businesses and believed in my abilities as a writer. To me, they were better than any counsellor, because they believed in me as a person, in my talents and my skills . So much so, that at the beginning of 2013, I was approached by them to become a Tutor for the Devon Recovery Learning Community, teaching courses at Workways. I have changed my life, I have a positive outlook on life and a positive mental attitude. Everyone is good at something, even those with mental ill health because they are great at understanding others with mental ill health. If I hadn’t looked after my own mental health and got help, the door of opportunity would never have opened for me. Having a mental illness is not something to be ashamed of but you do need taking responsibility for your mental health so you can take back the control in your life and start to move forward. I did it and so can you.”
Not only has Sandra got lived experience of mental health difficulties, she has a PTTLS Level 4 teacher/trainer qualification that she obtained in 2012 and 3 years blogging experience. She is an ideal choice to be a Tutor for Devon Recovery Learning Community. Although Sandra is no longer teaching for the RLC, she continues to use the skills she had developed in her own www.worldofquirky.com businesses.
If you would like to hire Sandra to train yourself or your company in how to start a WordPress.com blog, use Twitter or Facebook, for business or personal use, and you live outside of the UK, email Sandra in the first instance using the Contact form or contact her via Twitter www.twitter.com/SandrabellamyUK or www.facebook.com/SandrabellamyUK
If you live in the UK, you can contact Sandra by phone on 07932 768970 or 01392 43420 for a free 20 minute consultation to find out if, and how she can help. Visit www.quirkymentoring.com.
Sandra welcomes all enquiries, including those from people with mental ill health, a disability, special needs or an ethnic minority.