What’s happened since I was homeless?

My last post was in August 2018.

I have been urged to start updating my blog by my Cosáin colleagues. I have come a long way from being homeless in 2015 when I started this blog with the help of Saibh Egan. so thanks very much to her for helping me start this way back in early 2016.

I started to work with Cosáin as an administration assistant in November 2017. Cosáin is a charity. This is the link to Cosáin’s website. https://cosainwellness.wordpress.com/


Since then a lot has happened.

I have completed a course in peer support in mental health level 8 in DCU

This has been life changing for me.

In order to apply for this course I had to write a personal statement. I found that very difficult.

Here it is:

My desire to apply for the Certificate in Peer Support Working in Mental Health stems from my aspiration for a career in Mental Health Recovery. Since my first hospitalisation in 2008, I have been interested in mental health & wellbeing especially after my discharge, when I attended the Elm Tree Centre in Clifden, Connemara,  Co. Galway. The support and understanding from the staff there was inspiring and they assisted me with my recovery journey. They and other mental health professionals have helped me through challenging times and I would like to be able to offer the same encouragement and compassion to others who are struggling with their mental Health . As a current community Employment Scheme worker in Cosáin, I am learning a lot about peer support. I enjoy supporting others and am enjoying the time spent working in this recovery focussed environment.

I first heard about this course when I attended Cosáin in 2016, one of the members of Cosáin who works for the HSE was attending the course at the time. When I started in Cosáin as an administrator in October 2017 I attended a series of training sessions around setting up local forums. At this training, I also met former students of this course working in the HSE. Earlier this year I attended a Mental Health engagement day in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and I also enquired about this course.

During my education and training to date; I have achieved qualification equivalent to a QQI Level 5 in Customer Service Skills and Administration.

As part of my training with the National Learning Network I achieved a QQI Level 4 Health and Safety certificate during my Employer Based Training Course.  I also attended the I.T by distance learning course with the National Learning Network and I completed the following modules QQI Level 5 Word Processing, Database Methods,  Spreadsheet Methods, and the  E.C.D.L

After obtaining this qualification I would like to work as a peer supporter for Cosáin or the HSE.

I am a strong believer in volunteerism and that volunteering can assist in mental health recovery, through volunteering and through Cosáin’s help and support I have become the person I am today; recovery focussed with more confidence, understanding and compassion. Working for  Cosáin in the CE scheme as an administrator has given me excellent time management skills and has  helped me adapt to new situations; giving peer support in a group situation and providing administrative support to the Cosáin group itself.

As I am currently working as an administrator for Cosáin I have to be extremely organised with excellent delegation skills and have a flexible attitude both with my Cosáin colleagues and those who seek help from the Cosáin charity. I am punctual, polite and have excellent attention to detail.

 My most recent part time work was working with an events control team for the visit of the pope; my position there was Deputy Area Manager for the arena for the purple route. The reason why I was picked for this role was because of my professionalism and pleasant personality whilst working as a volunteer for the Galway International Arts Festival since 2013. There is a tight close knit team that work on the Festival Big top events. My positive go to attitude was appreciated by my colleagues who regularly placed me in more senior roles as the years went on, I started as a volunteer steward and this year just gone, I was a volunteer Big Top Team leader, which entailed looking after the volunteers as they  arrived, checking them in, liaising with security and the Chef Steward, distribution of t-shirts and jackets , managing the volunteer catering, keeping the volunteer tent tidy and assisting the chief steward this was often stressful and demanding at the busy times. This was appreciated with my new clients I hope in the future when I reach my goal, all of these skills will be useful in my role as a Peer Support worker.  Socially, I enjoy the arts in Galway, there is always something going on whether it is a festival or an event. My main hobby at present is learning about cooking organic vegetables and organic produce to keep myself healthy. I also like to travel around Ireland when I get the chance and visit historic buildings and surroundings.

 I hope that my future training and study brings me closer to the career choice I have made for myself in peer support working here in Galway and that DCU is the place that I can start this very important new chapter.

My next post will be about what’s happening for me next week. Here is a hint. See my Facebook page. https://sailtraininginternational.org/port/fredrikstad-norway/

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