Brian shares his experience of being supported by Inspire at Filor Court...
I have been a Service User with Niamh/Inspire since 2001. I was first introduced to the organisation when I moved into 24hour supported housing at the Minnowburn Scheme. Since then I have moved to three other Niamh/Inspire 24hour housing schemes, including Milburn Close, Altigarron Court and then onto Fountainville Avenue. Currently I live in Filor Court, which is a non-24hour supported housing scheme. I have found living in the supported housing schemes very beneficial to my mental health as I have gained a greater insight and this has enabled me to look after my mental health and wellbeing.
I was supported and encouraged by a staff member in Fountainville Avenue to begin my journey to a greater level of independence and to a move onto a non-24 hour supported housing scheme. I am really grateful to this staff member, as I have been living successfully in Filor Court for four years now. I feel living in non- 24 hour housing has enabled me to build on my self-confidence and self-esteem. I feel that I am now more outgoing and have a greater motivation to socialise and to do so independently. I have started to do more for myself and feel able to do things now that I once felt I needed support with.
I have lived in Filor Court for 16 years. Everyone here at Filor Court are very fortunate to have Beacon/Inspire Mental Health services for support. The staff team is led by the brilliant Adele, helped by Gerry, Julia, Sinead, Danielle and Peter. Each team member have their own special talents, in fact they are all multi-skilled. They are there to support me through any problem, they listen without prejudice and are very efficient. I always feel supported and encouraged. The staff provide many activities and groups, such as cookery, walking, creative writing and an excellent art class ran by an external art therapist Jean. Jean is a highly talented art tutor, we are given the time and space to be creative and express ourselves. Staff also encourage me with my writing, my passion for photography and getting out using my VIP Old Age Pensioners Travel Pass. Every Tuesday evening staff cook us a delicious dinner and not to forget our ‘Gut Buster Breakfast on FRYDAY’ (the Hilton Hotel have nothing on them!). I am glad and so thankful that we have such friendly helpful staff.
I am also so grateful for the great support network of friends I have both in and outside of Filor Court. I value and love my friends, Betty, Joyce, Annette (who I celebrate 60 years of friendship with), Margaret, Dorothy, Rachel and Hetty above all the diamonds in the world. My friend Olive who is sadly no longer with us, was a truly inspirational person to everyone she meet, her memory lives on. I meet and worked with Olive during our time working for Ulster Television. Olive unfortunately had muscular dystrophy and was confined to a wheelchair. Despite this she maintained her great sense of humour and never failed to be kind and generous. I remember my time at working with her at UTV with great pride. She was an amazing friend. I am also so grateful to have built a relationship with my sister Gloria and her partner Karel who live abroad. It was unknown to us that we were sister until recent years, we met in the year 2000.
When I was a young girl in Primary school I had two horrible teachers and faced a few playground bullies who tried their best to make my life hell. I was told I was worthless, stupid, an idiot and that I would not make anything of my life. Thanks to my fantastic, loving, kind friends, my sister and her partner I have proved them totally wrong. My advice to anyone would be to never let the bullies win.
I became involved with Niamh/Inspire in January 2008, this is when I became a tenant in Filor Court. I have lived here ever since. Previously I lived with my parents, who both sadly passed away. My brother and social worker then helped me find and move into my own flat here at Filor Court. My brother Morris is the person who truly inspired me to move forward.
I find it hard to express myself and how I am feeling. I find it difficult to express what I mean or want to say when speaking to people. I find living here at Filor Court I have the chance to express myself, as I attend an art group, I love to paint landscapes. I am currently taking part in a writing class in Filor Court on a Wednesday afternoon. I look forward to taking part each week, it makes me feel better as I can express myself. I love to write poetry and stories especially about my family. I regularly attend the communal dinner and breakfast where I enjoy meeting the other tenants. I also really enjoy the trips during the summer as we go to lots of different places.
Outside of Filor Court I volunteer at McMasters where I help out in the shop pricing items etc. I also attend the Special Olympics group where I play different sports. I love to get out with my family, I have a shed at my brother’s house where I do wood work. Attending church is important to me as it helps me keep a strong connection to my faith. When I am not feeling my best my brother and staff at Filor Court help encourage me to partake in these activities.
Volunteers bring immeasurable value to all areas of Inspire’s work to support people living with experience of mental ill-health. Find out more about how you get involved with our work....