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Justlife Beyond: Secrets to success...

  • Posted By admin
  • On 16 September 2014
The Justlife Beyond Project, funded by the Peoples Health Trust and Trusthouse Foundation, enables us to give service users opportunities and experiences that they wouldn’t normally encounter in their daily lives. In the last 12 months through trips and workshops participants have built skills, increased in confidence, made friends, discovered talents and had fun!The project is proving extremely successful over the last 6 months already with a far broader group of individuals choosing to engage to a deeper level. A survey this month concluded that 100% felt more confident as a result of the activities.So, why is it successful…OUR VOICES OUR HEARD… Matt, the lead project worker and other staff at Justlife encourage regular feedback on trips and workshops and more formal 3 monthly meetings have provided a more structured opportunity for service users to bring ideas for developing the program too. 95% of project participants reported that they felt that their voice had been heard.One service user commented: 'It has given me an opportunity to voice my opinions and to engage in activities that I would never have thoughts of being involved in. It has encouraged me to develop new friendships with staff and other service users.'WE ARE HEALTHIER… A recent survey at Justlife Manchester revealed that 94% of service users struggle with poor mental health, and this is exacerbated by a general sense of isolation. 85% also reported that they felt healthier and comments alluded to improved mental health.WE ARE BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS… The increased engagement of a wide range of different service users over the last 6 months has seen some more unlikely but positive friendships forming, alongside advice sharing and offers of support within the group. In the survey of project participants, 95% identified that they had formed new friendships.WE ARE TRYING NEW THINGS… 28 different trips have been organised since February 2014 engaging record numbers of people (and a number of people who have never engaged to any great degree in Justlife activities, due to their chaotic and unhealthy lifestyles). In the participant survey 100% of respondents said that they had tried something new or been somewhere new and 90% said that they had learnt new skills. The trips have provided completely new experiences and challenges to the various groups of individuals that have been on them and we have seen marked growth in confidence and relationships as a result.Service users commented: 'When we go on a trip I always feel happy for a few days afterwards and the workshops, I feel like I've really learnt something, not just academically but skills as well.''It was amazing not to focus on my addiction but to feel free from it, even if it was just a short time having fun paint-balling. If only I could channel that way of thinking everyday.'WE ARE USING OUR TIME WELL AND HELPING EACH OTHER… Justlife Beyond has seen the introduction of workshop 'courses' as opposed to one off workshops that can be dropped in on from week to week. Some have found committing to a course very difficult but many have found it really positive to be committed to one or two activities a week and been impeccable in time-keeping and engagement. The participant survey showed that 95% feel that they now have more ideas of what to do with their time. 100% of service users say that it gives them something to look forward to, they prefer to have something planned in rather than a completely empty week that only serves to remind them of the problems they face. This weekly rhythm has also enabled deeper friendships to form and we have seen individuals willingly helping one another with tasks, working together positively and well. 85% feel that they have been able to help others as a result of the project.WE HAVE HOPE… With 100% of people saying that they feel more hopeful about the future, we can already see clearly the benefits of this project in the lives of our service users and feel confident that these outcomes will continue to be met.
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