PROMISING LINKS GROUP
The group is small; around five to six “regulars” attending along with the released practice staff member, They meet, on Tuesday mornings, in the local community Sports Centre to share tea, coffee, cake and exchange conversation over a couple of hours. The facilities include table tennis and tennis/badminton courts; technically, the group are free to use these facilities if they wish. The dynamic amongst the regular attendees and between the practice staff member is palpably close.
From the group, members gain “company”- a regular time and space to get “out and talking with others”; one member considers the group a place where you can “talk freely- can speak your mind”. Indeed, I felt like the group provided a “safe space”; even with a complete stranger present, topics of group conversation were still remarkably open; members talked about struggles with low mood, past alcohol issues, chronic pain, their own health conditions and family.
The group support each other and each have their own issues so meeting to chat helps each of them immensely. We have had great responses from the group as a result, one of the ladies who attends every week wrote the article below.
"I have been attending the Promising Links Group since the very first meeting in August 2015 and it was probably one of the better decisions that I have ever made. It was certainly not easy though and it took a lot of encouragement from my GP and family to persuade me to go.
I was outside of my comfort zone and I was terrified!! I was such a mess and apart from various physical health issues, I also suffered from depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and loneliness, I also stuttered so badly that I avoided any social contact.
After about three meetings however, I became to know the other people in the group and although we all had different health issues, the common denominator was
LONELINESS. We all had something in common.
I began to open up to the other members and slowly it became easier and easier to share my feelings. No-one judged me and everyone had an opinion (or two) to
help me. I found myself looking forward to Tuesday mornings when we all got together.
We talk a lot and listen to each others problems but most of all, we laugh---- and we laugh a lot!
Thanks to the Promising Links Group, I now have more confidence. I feel so much more in control of my feelings and I no longer stutter! As an extra bonus I have
also made some friends for life.
I still have some bad days, even weeks, when I feel that life is hopeless, but it is such a comfort to know that I have the love and support of the group to help me through
these bad times.
I have recently been nominated as secretary of the group. Something that would have been unimaginable two years ago.
I am forever grateful to my GP at the Garscadden Burn Medical Practice for referring me to this wonderful group and for improving the quality of my life."
Promising Links Member
If you are interested in attending please ask at reception.