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Wednesday 26th of June 2019
The Vine Centre
33 Station Road, Aldershot, Hants GU11 1BA
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01252 400196
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Family Support

Who we are: Support Team –
 
  • Tracey Ashton – Operations Manager and Data Controller with over 10 years of experience in working with vulnerable adults and children.

  • Ali Greener - Support worker and a psychology graduate with several years of experience in support work.

What we do: We offer support to families who need help with their housing, benefits, schooling and other difficulties. We can help with form filling, making phone calls and household budgeting. The whole range of support at the Vine Centre is available for all to access. We work with Step by Step, Childrens’ Services and the Source to make referrals for young adults needing support.

Why this can help: By offering a “one-stop shop” families know that they can come to the Vine Centre for the help they need and that if it is something we are unable to immediately sort, we know someone who can.

If you think we can help please don’t hesitate to contact us. tracey.ashton@thevinecentre.org.uk
 
Our Clients' Stories

K and T
We have two clients K (female) and T(Male).  They have been coming to the Vine Centre for several months (K) and years (T).  We have been with them through many crises in their lives – with their children, with their addictions and with their mental health but after a lot of help and support, they are now engaging fully with the Vine Centre and we are starting to see real differences in their lives.  T was scared to be in his home alone as he felt that people would break in and harm him.  When the police became involved and his home was made safe, he then was scared to leave his home alone.  K moved in to help him get back on his feet and gradually T is now able to go out alone and to go out without his hat (his “comfort blanket”).  T has worked with our specialist mental health worker for many months; he now also attends GASP (Gambling, Alcohol & Substance misuse Project) twice a week and now is almost abstinent.  K has also started to engage too.  She originally met with our specialist mental health worker and now sees a counsellor, attends GASP twice weekly and also has 1:1 anger management.  Today, they both started on our in house catering course – My Catering Career.  They often help out volunteering in any spare time (T is brilliant with the hoover!).  When I asked them if I could tell their story as we were so proud of the progression they have made, both K & T’s faces lit up and said “this is the best thing that’s happened to us all week”. 

L
is a 38 year old woman first referred to the Vine Centre in August 2017 for Anger Management.  It was obvious, early on that L’s main problem was with her mental health and that her anger outbursts were usually caused by frustration at herself for not being able to do something that she felt she should be able to do.    I met her weekly until the end of 2017 and then moved to fortnightly early in 2018.  I now catch up with L when she needs to on an ad-hoc basis but usually see her briefly each week as she attends other activities at the Vine.

L suffers from very low self-esteem and so our early sessions were very focused on giving her tools to increase this.  At one point, several months after she first came to the Vine, L broke down crying because I had praised her on how well she was doing – she said she was not used to praise.  I ensured that encouragement and praise was part of every session.

When L first came to the Vine Centre, she had been living in her own flat and had been there for three years.  She self-harmed most weeks and had “arguments with herself” often from frustration.  We spoke about the self-harming and I gave her some “safer self-harm” techniques which she found useful.  We focused on equipping L with ways to help her calm when she became anxious or frustrated.  Stress balls have helped L considerably and she now has them dotted around the house for when she needs them.

L made a decision to give up her flat and move back in with her parents.  She felt that the stress was immediately relieved and her self-harming reduced.  The move back has not been altogether straight-forward and both before the move and since, we spoke about the need for L to have her own space and to give her parents that too.  L is often jealous of her parents and has struggled with accepting that they do things without her and that this is okay.  Although sometimes, she still feels pangs of jealousy, this has improved greatly over the past year. 

I noticed that L’s main episodes of self-harm or arguments with her parents, coincided with her menstrual cycle and I suggested that L made an appointment with her GP to discuss this.  We also looked at food rich in iron as L was also anaemic and a vegetarian.  As her diet improved, so did her mood.  Her arguments with her parents have lessened and the latter ones have been because of suppression of the desire to self-harm.  In March of 2018, L made the huge breakthrough of telling her mum about her self-harm.  She also discarded a sliver of glass that she had kept hidden for the purpose.  This has improved her relationship with her mum and the arguments have decreased a lot.

When L first moved back home, she stopped seeing her friends and didn’t attend many of the groups she had previously.  I worked with her to build structure to her week and she currently comes to the Vine Centre three times a week to get help with literacy, numeracy and creative writing.  She had been volunteering at the library but gave it up because of stress.  We are now working with her to encourage her to look at volunteering again.

Early on we experimented with different techniques to help L calm herself when frustrated, angry or wanting to self-harm.  As well as using stress balls, the two most successful were walking and visualising her “happy place”.  I also encouraged L to write down her worries or angers.  These have now become second nature and L she uses these automatically.  I encouraged her to lessen her time on social media and to start meeting her friends again, which she has started to do.  When the need to self-harm is overwhelming, L has taken to pinching herself (and on one occasion biting her arm but not breaking the skin) which now are enough.  She no longer uses scissors or glass.

Over the last year and a half, I have seen L blossom from frustrated young lady who would never hold her head up or look at someone, to someone who smiles much of the time and is starting to feel that she is achieving things.  She has self-published a collection of poems through Amazon and this weekend is reading a story she has written at an event put on by her Creative Writing group.  L no longer is afraid to tell me when she has had to fight against the urge to self-harm but is happy to tell me how she overcame these.  L still has bouts of jealousy over her parents but is learning to control this and is not arguing with them.  She spoke to the Literacy teacher about knowing very little about the world and we have now started to incorporate geography and current affairs into her sessions.  L regularly attends My Helping Hand where she not only receives help with Maths, but she is making new friends.

L has had her diagnosis of BPD rescinded and has been diagnosed with ASD – she feels that this makes so much more sense to her and has embraced this diagnosis.  Since being discharged from CMHRS shortly after she started attending the Vine Centre, L has had no suicide attempts (previously she had been hospitalised four times because of this) and is growing into a more confident and sociable young lady.  L now happily speaks to staff, volunteers and clients at the Vine and continues to grow in confidence.



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The Vine Day Centre is a registered charity in England, our charity number is 1095915.
Registered office:The Vine Day Centre, 33 Station Road, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 1BA
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