“I needed some help and opportunities to push outside my comfort zone, chances to try new experiences and to challenge myself. It really helped to be able to do this alongside other people in recovery who understood and were just as anxious as I was!!!.”
Flourish in nature facilitator
My name is Adam, I work in North Devon and have a split role as a recovery worker and a Flourish in nature facilitator. I’m in recovery myself, and with the support of some great people I managed to break free from a 20 year long Opiate dependency.
I was given the opportunity by Together to give something back to the addict who still suffers firstly by firstly becoming a volunteer, then in a paid role as a support worker, and progressing to becoming a recovery worker and then into my current role.
I love what I do. It is a real privilege getting to know our service users, hearing their stories, and being able to play a small part in their incredible journeys of change and transformation.
This blog gives me a chance to share what I am passionate about, and in particular share about ‘Flourish in nature’ and why it means so much to me.
Flourish in nature is a form of eco-therapy we are trying to offer, whereby we organise outdoor activities with the aim of building peoples confidence, offering additional opportunities for training and volunteering, offer fun (and sometimes challenging!) activities that encourage us to re-connect and engage with nature and the world around us, We offer so many vital services to our service users with interventions such a 1 to 1 support with a key worker, recovery groups, prescribing options, needle exchange services and so on, but I really feel the activity’s we are now offering now give us something completely different that can really strengthen peoples recoveries in a different way.
I’ve been lucky enough to help organise and take part in out door walks, kayaking and canoeing, surf lessons, tai chi lessons, and boxing lessons to name just a few examples. The chance to get out and try something new in my opinion gives our service users the chance to build confidence, boost self-esteem, meet new people, reconnect with the world around them….and to also have fun whilst doing it! I especially love how our volunteers, and also service users who are stable in their recovery, get the opportunity to train to be activity lead volunteers themselves.
In my own recovery, I was blessed to have brilliant key workers, and local support groups. But I really felt for me to take the next steps in recovery I needed some help and opportunities to push outside my comfort zone, chances to try new experiences and to challenge myself. It really helped to be able to do this alongside other people in recovery who understood and were just as anxious as I was!!!
I was offered similar opportunities to what Flourish in nature aims to provide, and in my own experience they were really helpful for me, and from the feedback we have received from our service users they are proving helpful to others too!
I know how uncomfortable it can be in recovery, when we are full of self-doubt, anxiety, and struggling to combat the isolation and boredom that I often felt. I had to really fight the temptation to hide away and keep myself to myself. I have seen the growth in people who take a chance and arrive at their first activity, full of nerves and anxiety, and then witnessed the positive change in them as they continue to get involved in our activities and challenge themselves. I really hope I get to see you one day on future activities whether as a participant or a volunteers