Donna Barrowman from The Hope Cafe Lanarkshire- sharing her experiences of working with the ALLIANCE promoting Self Management.
The Hope Café is a community café in Lanark where you can access information and resources to help support positive mental health and wellbeing
Donna has worked tirelessly to establish the Hope Café after capturing a want and need for on the ground peer support for people with mental health problems, which adopted Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) and Self Management techniques. Using Facebook, raising awareness locally and a successful ‘depressed cake’ sale in Sept 2013- demonstrated a strong enthusiasm for the project across Lanarkshire.
What the Self Management Awards have meant?
Around this time in 2013, Donna nominated Scottish Recovery Network Accredited WRAP for the Best Self Management Resource category of the awards. As an independent facilitator, Donna knew how valuable resource this is as a self-management tool which offers a structured means by which people can maintain wellness and recovery while working to anticipate and reflect on crisis and shares core principles which support the Hope Café:
- That recovery is possible (‘hope’).
- Individuals should take personal responsibility for their own lives and wellbeing (‘personal responsibility’).
- That it is important to know yourself, to be self aware (‘education’).
- That it is important to believe in and advocate for oneself (‘self advocacy’); and that the support of others is vital (‘support’).
Winning this category gave Donna reaffirmation that what she was doing worked and reignited her passion to continue knocking on doors and gain support for the Hope Café as with the Award she could evidence the credibility of what she was trying to achieve
What the fund has meant to the Hope Café?
After applying for charitable status Donna was now on the search for funding, including an application to the Self Management Fund. The Hope Café was successful in achieving funding, and due to the fund being immensely oversubscribed received 60 per cent of their original bid. The funding was to assist the Hope Café to develop as a project, supporting people to come together in a social environment and offer opportunities to try out a range of self management tools through taster workshops and get involved in other activities through the Café.
The Hope Café operates once a week from a church hall and includes a range of activities including a walking group, art group and creative writing. The volunteers who start with the Hope Café learn to become Peer Support Workers and take personal responsibility for their learning.
The Hope Café Lanarkshire- helps to connect you to opportunities for wellbeing
Huge Congratulations to Donna Barrowman, our 2014 Self Management Champion- who has trained over 100 people in WRAP in the last year and has established the Hope Café Lanarkshire. Her drive and commitment is inspiring to many including those benefiting from WRAP and the many volunteers she has recruited to support the development and delivery of the Hope Café.