Nat had reconnected with Illuminate in January 2020 through the Illuminate Community Groups ‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’, piloted at Hanover Court’s Garden House in Central Cambridge. The sessions offered members an opportunity to connect and take part in activities to support their mental and physical health. Nat has been on a long recovery journey since suffering from a brain injury. The impact on her physical and mental health also brought additional barriers relevant to hypersensitivity disorders. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, our community sessions came to an a premature close - this was significant for Nat as she found herself highly anxious, distressed and extremely isolated. Maintaining weekly telephone contact with Nat provided connection and encouragement.
As we transitioned to online sessions, Nat accessed our weekly sessions on topics including Mindfulness, Writing for Wellbeing, Pop-up Crafting Workshops and online training and they all helped improve her mental health through an intensely challenging time. In Autumn 2020, Nat started volunteering at a local Community Farm. Building her confidence, learning new skills, sharing her own skills and connecting with nature greatly benefitted her mental and physical health. Focusing on her creative skills, Nat has been working with local organisations contributing to Kettle Yard ‘Campaign for Empathy’ and creating an online gallery for her artwork.
She has also achieved a personal goal and has been recruited to a part-time role with CPFT as a member of the ‘Research Database Oversight Committee’, which offers her the opportunity to manage her health conditions whilst contributing to issues she feels passionately about.
“Illuminate have always consistently helped me to have a greater sense of ease with my own inner confidence with their educational confidence building courses and coaching. This year, they have totally outshone themselves through the Community Group sessions led by Anna which I hugely needed and appreciated at one of my most vulnerable and dark times last Spring and Summer. Our ‘moment of mindfulness’ on Wednesdays has been such a vital part of my week since the first lockdown for a sense of connection, friendship and trust, and it has helped with my confidence and given me encouragement to keep moving forward. I’m in a really good place now. Illuminate and the connections I have made have been a really important part of my journey and I couldn’t have got through the year without them.” Nat