A former drug user recognises her troubled past, but now says she’s in a good place and wants others to benefit from what’s on offer at an Orchard Park community hub.
To help spread a positive message, Jane, 51 has kindly shared her story which takes her from addiction and family troubles to finding peace within herself.
Jane has been in recovery since 2014, after accepting support from organisations that focus on mental health and parenting. With this help, she has been able to put a lot of negativity behind her.
Over the last 4 years living in Hull with her youngest son, Jane took part in training courses at Unity in Community and in September, was invited to participate in their new social prescribing initiative, which is working alongside NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, Hull City Council and Connect Well, to provide a range of free activities and events.
Fitness, wellbeing and craft classes have been available at Unity, to anyone living in Hull, with the aim of improving confidence, meeting new people and getting out of the house.
Jane explains how she has got to where she is now:
“I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life which I know has also caused a lot of trauma to those around me. I’ve been through every addiction you can think of; drugs, alcohol but also buying clothes and even cleaning products and toiletries. I also have ADHD and find it very difficult to be still. However, I am now in a positive place and feel so much happier with my life.
“With help, I have found ways to get through the hard times and know that staying active and taking part in various training courses at Unity has really helped me.”
Jane received support from ReNew, St Michael’s Church and Jubilee Church in Hull. During this time she took part in charitable talent contests having discovered a special way to calm her mind – juggling!
This new hobby started 7 years ago when one day, feeling agitated at home Jane took herself for a walk and to explain what happened, she wrote a poem:
“I wandered to town with a sad little frown, but the pound shop changed me into a clown.
“I bought these three balls and juggled around, from that day on I felt very sound.
“It was a thought in my mind, a one of a kind where my Nana as an angel came down with this message.
“She said juggle these balls Jane to ease the stresses, take it from me you have a talent and you’re a blessing.”
“I felt like my Nana, who had died years before, came to help me. I went along to the pound shop and felt a strong sense of her presence. She guided me to pick up a set of juggling balls and I’ve been juggling ever since.”
“I’m known as Juggling Jane now and love to incorporate headstands into my act too.”
“I even went to audition for Britain’s Got Talent, I didn’t get through but I’m still juggling, it didn’t put me off.”
At Unity, Jane signed up for Zumba and before she knew it, was attending four or five different classes each week; mindfulness sessions, FitSteps and contemporary dance workshops – all of which are free.
“All of this activity has been so helpful to me. After getting sober I now have positive habits rather than addictions. Instead of sitting at home, I look forward to coming to meet my new friends at Unity.
“For anyone with similar life experience to mine, I would like to encourage them to take part in the mindfulness sessions, it should be offered to all people like me. It’s been so helpful and I am much better equipped to deal with the pain of my past. I can’t believe that something so simple can make me feel like a normal human being.
“I hope telling my story in this way will help others. I’ve been through some awful things in my life but now I know that whatever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger and if I can survive coming off heroin I can survive anything. I’ve improved every part of my life; my parenting, my fitness, my health and my mindset.
“Getting out and getting involved feels like a big barrier, it’s so hard walking into somewhere on your own. I was so nervous as I thought people would be watching me. But there is nothing to worry about, everyone who goes to Unity is so friendly.
“Now I feel I can communicate better with people I don’t know. It has helped to build confidence and improve my self-esteem, I want everyone to know about it. If I can come this far, you can too.”
Liam Woods, Project Manager at Unity in Community says:
“We are so pleased to see how far Jane has come with support from around the whole city. Jane is a shining example of how social prescribing is helping people.
“Since we launched our initiative in September, we’ve engaged hundreds of local people in our fitness, craft and wellbeing classes. Some people with complex life experiences and also others that felt lonely and isolated. Whatever the need, social prescribing is proving to be part of the solution.”
For more information about sessions at Unity in Community, call the friendly team on 01482 852292 or search for Unity in Community (HU6) on social media.
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