IF Group Roving Reporters
After our latest IF Group main meeting it was identified that we needed to be documenting stories from the Frontline. Real life real time stories of what is happening in Bristol. We see many people and we all hear complaints and snippets of how people are progressing with their recovery path’s
Jason and Jamal were voted in as our new Roving reporters. They will be going out and interviewing, recording on AudioBoom and taking pictures of people they talk to on the streets. They may be sleeping in a shop doorway, they may be waiting in line to get into the night shelter. They may have just been released from prison. One of the reasons we want to capture these stories is so that they can help us get a picture of the cracks in the systems.
I was talking to a woman who had just moved into one the many Dry Houses in Bristol. We will call her Wendy. She had been living in her own hell. She broke down as she told me that she had a noose around her neck three days before – but how she didn’t really want to die. She just couldn’t cope with living with her mind and her consequences one more day.
One of the things she told me was about her experience of the Mason Unit. I had never heard it. Wendy described how she ended up there after a serious suicide attempt. She arrived at 10pm and waited for the team of Psychiatric assessment team to arrive. There was also another young lady up there who had just been taken off Clifton Suspension bridge. Both were assessed and both were put into taxis to go home after a couple of hours. Both women were begging to stay there because they didn’t feel safe. They didn’t trust their minds.
Unless you know that desperate place when you really DO want your life to end – you will never understand. The problem is no one can properly tell when someone is being serious about wanting to die.
This is one little snapshot of information which we needed to hear. How will we understand how things are being run, or not run, unless we have a team of people willing to go out on the streets to record the stories. Jason and Jamal have never blogged or written articles, so I got together with them today to pass on what I have learnt in the last few months. This is how this whole Fulfilling Lives initiative works. We are here to empower one another. Pushing through our fears and trying to tread on new ground.
So we will be getting ID Badges made up, consent forms and recording the voice of people with multiple/ complex needs. We can’t get the stories of the GK clients yet, as the program is still in it’s early stages. But it will be good to see how the innovative new ways of working with these clients will have a different effect or outcome.
If you have a story which you want to tell and are here in Bristol accessing or having accessed services – please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org