My time at Orb has now sadly come to an end. I have had the most amazing experience and met the most wonderful people. It has been a real eye opener into a local charity that I was not aware of before, and I hope that the work being done to support people continues for a long time.
Orb is a charity which opens its doors to so many people, yet in some aspects they are all the same. What I mean by this is that you may ask someone ‘are you a volunteer?’ or ‘are you a service user?’ and it remains at that. When a mixture of different people are in a room together there is no telling who is who. The atmosphere is a relaxed one filled with positivity. If someone chooses to tell you about themselves then that is their choice, and I think that is one of the things which I admire about Orb. People come to Orb to engage in positive creative activities, not to be challenged about why they are there, and I think through learning to respect that it helps to keep Orb the way it is meant to be.
I have been coming to Orb on a weekly basis and I have been involved with so many things. I never dreamt that I would help to paint the mural to go in the Orb Garden, and it has been a great honour to be one of the people who kept the project going over summer.
I have held several one-to-one Creative Writing Sessions, and it has been brilliant to share my own knowledge about the subject with others to help them with something which they either enjoy or want to try out for the first time. Sitting in the recording studio has been a positive experience each time and there are some really talented people who come to Orb.
I also got to attend the FEVA Festival for the first time and see the ‘behind the scenes’ of the annual event. The weather was glorious, and the atmosphere was filled with energy. I was proud to watch people get on stage and perform, as I know that it takes immense courage.
I will definitely be back to visit everyone in the future. As I head back to University I hope that word keeps being shared about Orb as I think it is a fantastic place that has been set up here. It is very important that awareness of mental health is raised and that people don’t just turn a blind eye to it. If you feel that you need support from Orb then get in touch; they have an approachable team who will be more than happy to help!