Our women's programmes: A referrer's thoughts
In March 2012, a group of women from Addaction travelled to Applecross to take part in our Next Steps programme. We were thrilled to hear from Ann, one of the Addaction staff members who accompanied the group, with her thoughts on the experience:
Ann from Addaction in Kilmarnock writes:
Recently, I was privileged to accompany ten women from our Scottish services for a series of outdoor activities, camping and team building at Applecross in Wester Ross. All of this was due to a pilot project between Addaction and the Venture Trust.
Everyone challenged themselves both physically and mentally, and in doing so gained confidence and a real sense of their own power and purpose for moving forward in their recovery journeys. The women benefited immensely from the skills and expertise of the Venture Trust Team. I believe they were able to do so, as the reasons they were selected for this pilot were the right ones.
Each was 'in a good place' and open to new experiences, and they formed a strong unit, supporting and helping each other. They came together to solve problems, play games, feel safe outside their comfort zone, attempt big physical and mental challenges and to learn to trust each other and the workers with their vulnerabilities. The women got time away from their normal lives and responsibilities, and were able to bond with others at the same stage of recovery.
We all agreed that the camping expedition to Sand Bay was the most productive part of the whole trip, and the women got a lot from the peace and tranquillity of such a beautiful setting.
It was as though we had taken the sun with us and those days were magical. It was an eye opener for me to see the Venture Trust staff carry out key work on the sands, rocks, shore and grassy spaces; very different experience from the urban settings I am used to. The women got lots of quiet time if they wanted to and they could choose to have time alone in a beautiful setting, where they could have peace, solitude and time to process their thoughts with support close to hand.
Hillwalking, abseiling, crate stacking and pier jumping were a few of the activities on offer and every woman can take pride in the full commitment they gave. Some found their voice to express their opinions, some their emotions, and some found that they were natural leaders (there were also a few comediennes in the group!).
Everyone worked together to complete tasks and the wonderful Venture Trust staff couldn't believe their luck at getting to work with such a receptive group, and people who had learned so much from working on their issues with Addaction. I met up with half of the group a few months later and they still have 'the power'!
All in all, it was an amazing experience I'll never forget.