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Hi and welcome to NT LIFE Recovery College

Well what a start to 2020, only six weeks in and we have had 40 new registrations and welcomed back our students and volunteers from 2019. Together we have already created fully booked courses and we have some new and exciting offerings for the coming year.

To newcomers: it is my hope that you join our community and as a result you will gain new knowledge, skills and friendships. I look forward to seeing you.

I thank our fabulous students: in their continued efforts and give special thanks to facilitators for providing the first of our courses:

At the beginning of February the wonderful staff from Recoco –  Sandra, Oli and Laura – came over to deliver a WRAP Awareness course. The course had 11 participants, four of whom will be progressing to the WRAP Train the Trainer Course at Recoco.

This means we will be able to deliver WRAP Awareness courses on a regular basis moving forward, so keep an eye out in the prospectus.

So far this year I would like to thank the following volunteers for the skills, effort and enthusiasm they have already contributed:

Monday’s Football for Health session

The Parcs team Captain Kath Miller, for continually motivating and supporting the players, organising the team for league matches each month –  basically keeping me on my toes – and for getting  the message out for new players. To get an ideal balance between being supportive and competitive is no mean feat. It’s even more astounding doing this in the cold weather and the rain (as it has been at league matches)

Kath you are a diamond! For having faith during the changes of players and support staff I thank you so much you truly are appreciated for all you do!

Positive Language & Self Talk

Facilitator Alice Cosgrove –  the feedback from this course has been tremendous, which bearing in mind, it was a Positive Language course, only goes to prove the impact this course has had. We are so thrilled with the results that we’ve asked Alice to deliver a slightly shortened version in between her last programme and her Mindfulness course that starts on 24 March.

Alice I also know, that whilst doing this you have a very successful business and have launched yet another. You are an inspiration and I thank you for all you bring to the college.

Art Group

Facilitator Mick Turnbull continues to develop the skills and confidence of the students I’m sure we’ll be having an exhibition of the wonderful work they are producing at some point this year (Mick, did you see what I did there lol, let me know a date and I’ll book a venue). Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and the college.

As the first volunteer facilitator to join us on the back of a SAINT project, in August 2019, for growing the participants and promoting links with the NTAS, also at the Linskill, thank you from the bottom of our paint pots.

Positive Mindfulness

Facilitator Phil Waugh, back by popular demand, and setting the bar high with 18 students booked on to his course brings back his awesome knowledge and uplifting delivery style. There is much hilarity with the antics of Poison Parrot and Bowser, and yet there is still plenty of relaxation and mindfulness resulting in students being calmed and leaving the room with radiant smiles. This is the second time Phil has delivered this course for us and the exciting news is that he will also be involved in the delivery of our Introduction to DBT Skills course.

Phil you literally are awesome, you’ve touched the minds and imaginations of our students and I can’t thank you enough. The fact that you’ve been recommended to, and are delivering, Mindfulness to NT Carers goes to show how highly thought of you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Talk Tech & Tinker

Facilitator Paul Lapham, always guaranteed to have a great one liner. Paul has shown true grit and resilience with this course, from the beginning the numbers were low (my responsibility sorry Paul) but what Paul has been able to achieve is amazing. Many would have written it off, but Paul’s welcoming enthusiasm, calm approach and great listening skills have allowed him to keep the students motivated and engaged. In the last couple of weeks we have seen the numbers grow significantly. It’s not unusual – see the current publicity – for the male of our species to be reluctant to talk, unless it’s about fixing stuff and that’s the beauty of this group. Guys can come together and problem solve how to fix, recycle, upcycle and repurpose all sorts of household stuff.

Thank you Paul for showing faith and resilience here’s to a great year of Talk Tech n Tinkering! Thank you so very much and for your participation in numerous other sessions. To which you bring your one liners, your smile and a smile to everyone’s face, thank you!

Understanding & Coping with Anxiety

Facilitator Shelley Poste, since I was first introduced to Shelley she had a goal in mind and that was to deliver a session that would educate and inspire students. Not only has she achieved this, she has delivered two and is ready to deliver her third at the end of February. This is impressive in itself, however as well as doing this Shelley is also doing a degree. Shelley speaks from her heart and her experience, when delivering and I’m sure that is why she has had great feedback from all her participants. What is wonderful to see, here at NT LIFE, is that it’s not just the students that are supported, the students support the volunteers too. She has to be commended for both her ability and her courage to be vulnerable, which in turn generates courage in others to feel comfortable in their own journey.

Shelley has been active in drop-in sessions and volunteer sessions and aims to deliver a session on Understanding & Coping with PTSD before the summer.

Shelley you have shown determination and courage, you continue to grow and to give, I am so grateful, thank you so very much.

DBCuppaT

Facilitator Julie Bishop, well what can I say? At this point Julie would be saying “Nowt if we’re lucky!” (Well unfortunately Julie, in my opinion, you deserve a bit of praise, so here goes).

DB Cuppa T, the second session to launch at NT LIFE back in August 2019. It continues to support people who have been through or are undertaking DBT. The group and the college have seen new students and volunteers since Julie has been volunteering with us. She tirelessly promotes both and also welcomes them onto her Facebook Group Fun‘da’mentals. As a result of that both her Fb group and NT LIFE students and volunteers have enjoyed a number of fun filled social gatherings. Renowned for her humour, Julie has both a practical and hilarious way of viewing life, using these skills she has teamed up with Phil and Emma to share their knowledge of DBT and to share the skills and tools with our students. The first 12 week programme is fully booked and so we hope we can encourage them to deliver again later in the year.

Julie you are as they say “a breath of fresh air” your no-nonsense approach has inspired me personally and I know how much you are though of by students and volunteers alike. Thank you so much for everything you have done to make the college a success.

Crafty & Calm

Facilitator Amy Crammond, has from the first drop-in session contributed ideas and enthusiasm towards NT LIFE. As a result of this we devised and delivered four weeks of Christmas Crafternoon sessions, scoring 10/10 for satisfaction ratings and were fully booked week after week.

This supercharged Amy to go for Small Sparks funding from Whitley Bay Big Local. With a small grant and loads of creative ideas, Amy put together a 10 week craft course. This has been a collaborative project with Amy, NT LIFE and WBBL working together to enable a programme of crafting sessions. To date Amy has delivered five sessions and has had fantastic feedback with most participants attending weekly, the group offers a real sense of friendship in such a short time. Amy is facilitating a wide range of ages and abilities and there is always support and laughter in abundance.

Amy you are doing a tremendous job, I have watched you pursue what was a dream and turn it into a success. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and some amazing ideas. I’m sure we will see even more of your ideas become successful in the future. Thank you so very much.

Admin Support

Volunteer Emma Farrell, with all of the sign ups, courses and drop in sessions there comes a lot – and I mean a lot – of admin. Working diligently in the background, helping maintain the database, sending out emails, following up on queries and creating the first blog has been our super organised Emma.

However, not only has Emma done this from November, she has been support facilitator with Amy at the Craft and Calm Sessions, she has been co-developing the Introduction to DBT Skills course and as of March will be delivering a Creative Writing “ The Pen is Mightier than The Sword” course at Meadow Well Connected (see the prospectus for details). This course is designed to build confidence and resilience around personal wellbeing through writing.

Emma, thank you for all of your contributions as wide and varied as they are, it is fantastic to see how you have developed and yet you will be missed in Admin Support but you are going on to do so much more. Thank you so very much.

Wow! Either I can waffle on, or that’s amazing how much we have achieved in just six short weeks. That doesn’t include the journeys our students have been on!

Every one of us has something unique, a special gift, a talent that, undeniably, we bring into this world. Why not be like our students and volunteers and come along and get involved in NT LIFE?

Where you too can Learn Insights From Everyone in your journey to through and to positive mental health.