“I moved to Widnes about a year ago and I’m on employment support allowance and I was put in touch by the Job Centre for the Mind course. My experience of the Mind Confidence course really good, I was working at the time with a Psychotherapist and so I was doing both at the same time,which was great because it liked merged them both together and they were complimentary. It built up my confidence and it was good to just get me out of the house and that was a big thing for me at the time.  It has just changed me completely I just got my life back and I feel happy about it. I’m so different I’ve got a positive attitude now before I kind of dragged myself down and everything  was all closing in on me and now the doors been opened the course and working with the psychotherapist was really complimentary being able to put positive thinking into practice is fabulous and I keep doing it as much as I can. I’m volunteering on a Friday with Mind at the studio with the arts and craft group and also doing other voluntary work and that’s got me out as well so it’s changed my life completely. I was quite scared before hand and I had a bit of a panic the nearer it came to the day of the course but as soon as I got there I was greeted and made to feel welcome and whoosh before I knew it I was sat with someone and we begin to chat and realise that the other people in the room are in the same boat as me and that we need a boost to our confidence. It’s great that Mind offer this type of course because I’m not sure what I would have done if it hadn’t been available. And my next step is to get a part time job because I’ve now got the confidence to go back to work” – Mary

“I’d previously been involved with the Mind social group about thirty years ago and in that time different things have happened to me, I started doing some voluntary work and also got a little part time job but in that time I’ve always found that Mind was there and it has helped me. It’s hard to describe it, you’d have to go through it yourself to understand how it makes you feel, some days you feel like you don’t want to do anything but then when you come to Mind you get a real lift it’s a great feeling knowing that there is someone there.  I love it, just love it” – Sally

“I have problems with my confidence and the Job Centre sent me on a course at Mind that might help with me with my confidence. I’d previously had CBT and counselling before but I felt this course was different it had a different approach. Being able to talk to other people on the course who were experiencing similar issues made me feel I wasn’t alone I wasn’t the only one with these thought and feelings. When the course finished I came back as a volunteer mentor and it was very different experience, I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like to take, take, take and I was able to give something back as well as get more involved, I felt that I wanted to use the tools I’d been given even if it was only helping one person. I also got involved with the craft group at the studio and shared my hobby which is cake decorating and sweet making with other people on the course and showed the group some basic sweet craft. And I stood in front of the group and it was very nerve racking and gave instructions on how to make sweets and as nerve racking as it was I got through it without being flustered and the group produced some wonderful sweets and I was able to do that just by attending a confidence course and so if anyone asked me about participating in the course, I’d say do it, just do it”Jill 

“My name is Emma and I’m now a qualified volunteer counsellor with Mind Halton….. I joined in April 2017 as a student counsellor as part of my studies at Salford University……when I started at Mind as a student away from the safety of the university I thought it was going to really scary…… but the whole team made me feel so welcome and I had amazing support, there was always someone to talk to if I needed anything and I could always go to the manager and CEO if I needed to chat…..It’s like a family to me and I really enjoy my experience with Mind” – Emma

“Joining the group has given me a reason for getting out and about, before I used to stay at home and I couldn’t even get a bus without worrying or panicking, now I’ve got new friends and together we do things like crafts and shopping and have a laugh” – Julie

“Before I joined the Mind social group I felt isolated but since becoming involved I feel energised…. I enjoy being around people who understand me……. I like being able to share my interests and people are interested in me…… and when I’m at Mind there are people who listen to me……” – Peter

“I heard about Mind Halton and their confidence course and I signed up to the course and the first day I was very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect but as the session went on I started feeling a lot easier about being there………I realised I’m not the only person feeling this way and I was sat with a group of people that had the courage to be honest about how they felt and it made me feel quite fortunate………the course gave me a different way of looking at things and I now try and set myself a goal each day…….. and since completing the course I’ve found employment, I’ve found a social life, I don’t feel like I live in a hole anymore, I’ve found me and I like her…………. I’d recommend anyone to do the course…….” Rachel

“I was a bit unsure about the fitness sessions…..I’ve not done any exercise for years and I thought I’d feel embarrassed. But it was great we did, boxercise and I bought my own gloves, we also did weight training and aerobics, and we sometimes joined in with the walking rugby it was always at a pace that I could do but I still felt puffed at the end of the sessions. One of the best things though was it was fun, there was loads of encouragement and I always felt welcome when the gym session finished I joined the Ost ff Load group and we’d chill out and feel able to talk about how we felt because it was ordinary and safe” – Paul