Let's start firstly with a congratulations on completing the full induction, certificates and taking the next step by completing the naloxone training with the ADA lived experience naloxone peer outreach team. AMAZING!!
Justin always try's to see the best in people, with his own lived experience he has empathy and is genuine. He explains:
"I went through a phase of alcoholism, and I have suffered at different levels with mental health. Good days and bad days. The best part of any day, is seeing someone smile. I have friends and family who have endured the same. So it was logical to me that many others, could feel the same, or go through the same"
He has held his NHS position for a few decades now and worked on self worth, doubt, controlling his own life. Instead of letting dependencies or poor mental health control him.
"I don't have hate for negativity, I am just saddened that some are unable to prevent it controlling their lives. I formed Street Friends to unite communities, to bring community spirit together, directly helping those in need.". He adds, "Many times I was told, it would never work, there have been problems along the way, but each problem or mistake, have become lessons learned. So 5 years later, we moved forward again becoming a fully constitution registered community group. Now with a 'dream team', we are building this further, for the benefit of those most in need."
Justin finished by adding,
"People need people. On my not so good days, it still lifts me, helping others. So I cannot see what can be better than that, knowing on a bad day, you can still see good in people and good in each and every day. I encourage anyone to join us as friends or supporters, then if you wish, you can become volunteers from home, in person, donate, or all of those. We take things seriously in so much as we complete our inductions, follow volunteering standards professionally, continue bettering ourselves. I do though feel the Street Friends community is a family, but still embraces the professionalism, care and training required to safely work with vulnerable groups."
Justin acknowledges that he may not be the best at paperwork, or courses, it simply isn't his strength. But he has many strengths from empathy, to encouraging people, to kindness and countless others. That is why there the team is complimented by lived experience & professionals, peer2peer experienced volunteers & coaches, and many individuals - all with different strengths. By utilising everyone's strengths, it allows all to compliment each other, to be a part of things, as a united, professional, fun, welcoming team. He won't mind me adding that I helped take him through his courses, to me that is what I can do. In turn I try to learn from his kindness and people skills, which at times I find very hard. He also wants to add that everyone will need to go through their full inductions, but there is always an open offer for anyone struggling with anything to contact himself, or Linda to learn more about the importance of them. Sam and others are more than happy to assist getting people through the courses. It is OK to not be OK. We will always support any of our team, to work through training, or in any other viable way.
Everyone is not expected to do everything by themselves - people have never been meant to. Anyone looking to learn more, get help with inductions or any other issues can click - HERE or email Sam Raion at: email@example.com