Craigshill Good Neighbour Network
“I started volunteering at CGNN about a year ago now, and it really has been a huge lifeline for me and helped me transform my life in ways I could never have imagined. It came after a time in my life, when I had already lost so much and had been through a period of depression and anxiety - so bad that I couldn't leave the house at all, at the worst parts. I relied on my son for everything. I was so ill I seemed to catch everything. Spent weeks in bed at a time, and just didn't even want to go on anymore. I was so low i it was barely an existence. Then my dad got ill and I watched him slowly deteriorate in front of my eyes and die. Panic attacks and isolation became my life - or existence. I couldn't really call it a life. He left me a lot of money and I seemed to just go on a mission to kill myself... The next 9 months were a blur. and then I had a nervous breakdown.
However, that was my rock bottom and the firm foundation that I vowed I would rebuild my life on. I took all the help I could get in the hospital, stopped drinking alcohol and started counselling sessions with WLDAS. My anxiety and depression had got far worse since my dad had died but it had been a constant really my whole life, so I knew it was time to deal with it for once and for all. I felt like I had been given a second chance at life and started to realise how lucky I was to still be alive after trying so hard to put myself in an early grave my whole life.
After being used to isolating for so long and pushing everyone and everything away though it was a struggle to get back to 'normal'. I was still staying in for days and weeks at a time. Trying to stay away from all the old friends that I knew would lead me back to my old ways I felt like I had no one and nothing really, just me and my son. I think god for him every single day. I don't know how we got through it looking back. I needed that wake-up call. But I was still isolated - still alone! Different but with no idea what to do or where to go from here. Still a bit lost with no purpose or motivation or even any idea of what to do next.
Then Ozzy from WLDAS took me into meet Jane and CGNN and the past year has just been unbelievable really. I volunteer as much as I can, and I love it so much. I really feel like it's my wee happy place. I come into myself, my confidence grows. I seem to just laugh when I'm there and the time flies by. My anxiety these days is non-existent and depression?? What’s that? My confidence (which I didn't even know I had) just grows and grows.
This has been a complete lifeline for me and has given me something to get up in the morning for - a sense of purpose again and belief in myself. This is all new to me really - I don't think I've ever felt so supported, encouraged or believed in before. Its definitely a learning curve. I've met some amazing people since I started and made some amazing friends. We all look out for each other and have forged strong bonds - feels more like family than friendship to be honest.
It just feels so good to be part of such a wonderful charity that does so much for the local community and be in a position to give something back. I'm so thankful for the chance, and really do think this has been such a huge part in me getting better and feeling healthy, for the first time in a very long time.”
Testimonial from N’s support worker, Thomas Oswald (Ozzy)
West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Service: Community Rehabilitation
“I started working with N in July 2018 and at that time she was still very unsure about her future and very ambivalent about her substance misuse. With some therapeutic input N started to move on, getting involved in recovery groups throughout the county, however the ambivalence was still lingering due to the fact that she was still being reminded on a daily basis of her substance issues. This all changed when I introduced her to Jane at the Craigshill Good Neighbour Network(CGNN) In April 2019. It was N’s lightbulb moment. She rapidly became a volunteer and fitted into the team like a glove. Her self -esteem, confidence and self- worth grew with each day to the point where she actively runs workshops at CGNN and is an advocate for others who is or have been in her position.
N is a true inspiration to others and a genuinely nice honest and reliable human being.”
Thankyou Impact Funding, this is an example of the real difference that your support facilitates for people’s lives. It is just one example of what has been a life changing experience for a volunteer at CGNN. Know that your support saves lives!