Why do I work at Restore?

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Meet Laurent, Recovery Coordinator at Restore’s Beehive recovery group, in Oxford. This week he shares his experience of working at Restore.

Hello, I’m Laurent, I have been working at Restore for five years now. I decided to ask myself, ‘why?’.

Restore helps individuals experiencing mental ill health to lead independent lives. It brings together different concepts, theories and methods: such as mindfulness, transactional analysis, peer support and learning-by-doing.

Laurent in Garden

In recent years, ‘social prescribing’ has become more popular, with services in the community improving health, well-being and social welfare through connection and activity.

Restore’s holistic approach is similarly less clinical. It helps people to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, with emphasis on the value gained through engaging with nature, exercise, meaningful activities, healthy walks, mindfulness, and social interaction.

Plants in Garden Cafe

I recently re-read a book from the 1970’s, called Small Is Beautiful. It argues that small organisations are best-equipped to respond to people’s needs. I’ve seen how a less cumbersome organisation, like Restore, can adapt and respond quickly, being agile in adjusting to local needs.

Over the last 46 years, Restore has illustrated how – with a modest budget, community support and investment by the local government – it can respond to people’s needs.

In our complex society, well-being can be negatively impacted by so many factors, such as poverty, health, isolation, abuse, housing, and trauma. Restore has constantly responded and evolved to keep making a difference.

By working with other organisations, and being a founding member of the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OMHP), Restore has been able to help people find the best support, by ‘signposting’ other services, and being ‘signposted’ by others.

Restore doesn’t claim to replace clinical or statutory bodies, but its soft approach supports people towards better looking-after themselves.

Restore has attracted skilled, experienced, dedicated staff members who are determined to deliver a worthwhile service based on empathy, kindness and cooperation.

Beehive paintings

Trustees and volunteers bring additional skills and enthusiasm, and the public gets involved too, supporting the work. The connection with the community remains vital in ensuring Restore can continue to support people across Oxfordshire.

It feels good to work for Restore, professional satisfaction and a sense of personal achievements are immense. To witness an individual reclaiming their life from the debilitating effects of mental ill health is powerful.

It is not easy, but that is not the point. The point is that by working for Restore, one can make a difference to others.

I would apply again today in a heartbeat, it is amazing to have such a sense of purpose in one’s life. I don’t experience the Sunday evening blues, I look to Monday morning with anticipation of adventures and opportunities to share members’ recovery journeys together.

Restore, long it may continue…..