To help people develop their ideas and projects independently from the City Farm when the Active Citizens programme finished, we developed a mentoring programme, tailor-made for each person or group. We were able to offer four projects this opportunity.
Shiv had been through challenging circumstances. She had been in a programme that supported her recovery and helped her get involved in her local community. Shiv had been volunteering with us at the City Farm for quite a few years in the café and various Active Citizen community projects. She was now looking to develop her interests in massage and her own community enterprise. Shiv’s first experience in offering massage was to City Farm volunteers and staff, slowly building up her confidence to offer massages to the public at the City Farm’s festivals and events.
We offered her a one-to-one mentoring/coaching programme, supported her in her new venture in holistic services and supported her to develop her work with people and projects who may not be usually able to access holistic treatments. This is what she says:
“My name is Shiv and I have been volunteering at the farm for four years. Volunteering has unlocked me, I have gained confidence, self worth and friends. I have volunteered in the café, with the TT family gardening group and the Community Action Call Outs which have been brilliant in giving me lots of opportunities to try out new volunteer roles, meet new people and work with people who really want to do positive things in the community.
I have qualified in various massage therapy treatments through college courses and I am returning to college this October to pursue more Holistic Therapies. I have been in the mentoring programme as part of the Active Citizens community programme with Jules as my mentor and it is proving to be a fantastic experience, feeling supported along this new journey. I haven’t had mentoring before and it’s been something that I would really recommend to people. I have been able to share my ideas, dreams and aspirations and it’s felt safe to do this and not judged. It’s been so valuable for me, supporting me to have the confidence to go for the type of work I never thought I would be able to do.
I have been able to develop my confidence in a supportive place and build up my confidence and skills to run my own business. I would especially like to work with people who feel vulnerable, socially isolated, have mental health issues or are in recovery as I believe that the work I do can be of value and well-being. I have loved volunteering at the farm and would like to say a huge thank you for all the support I have regularly receiving from volunteers and staff and the huge amount of help and ongoing support from Jules and the Active Citizens mentoring/coaching programme.”
We mentored and coached Shiv over a period of six months, to create a personal action plan, offering one-to-one coaching in the development of her community enterprise. We have linked Shiv to Stepping Out, a charity that works with people who have learning disabilities. Shiv will be part of the the wellbeing programme they have developed. Shiv is also now involved with Missing Link, a local organisation that works with women who have mental health issues. Shiv is now working with their peer support group, offering holistic massage as part of a wellbeing package.
As part of the mentoring/coaching programme Shiv and Jules delivered a wellbeing workshop for women in the Missing Link Peer Support Group.
“Thank you so much for coming today. The women really enjoyed your workshop. We loved the relaxation exercises, everyone felt relaxed, safe and you both had such a calm presence that we all felt very chilled afterwards. We really valued the tips and ideas of how we could use massage and relaxation at home. The women wanted to say how it was so inspiring to hear Shiv’s story and how she has had the courage to move forward from her challenges and to now start developing her passion for massage into a potential career.”
Missing Link Peer Support Facilitator Leandra