Teamwork and collaboration in recovery

Bev is a Penumbra Recovery Worker and she submitted an article to Spotlight as a way of sharing her observations on how coronavirus has given her the opportunity to reflect on what her job and her team mean to her. But the teamwork she’s talking about isn’t just between her own colleagues, it’s also about the teamwork between her the people she supports through the Fife service. This is what Bev had to say.

After supporting my last client of the day which ran over, I hung up. My day did not finish there as I reflected back over the conversation, which then took me through the journey I have shared with my client so far.

This journey highlighted why I choose this job and why it means so much to me personally.

I have been able to support a person who has been in some dark places, struggle with self esteem allowing others to take advantage of their vulnerabilities. The person experienced traumatic events throughout their life: loss, domestic, sexual, emotional and drug/alcohol abuse and control.

My client has been in many scattered accommodations and has now been given a flat she can make into a home. As we are all aware when living in scattered accommodation there is a limit of what our clients are allowed to have. My client has had to leave many personal items due to constantly moving from A to B. Her new housing officer has help immensely organising beds, cooker, fridge and washing machine from the council fund. She has also arranged a van and taxi for moving day so she is able to take the items people have gifted her this time. There are a few gifted items which would help make the house a home that she is unable to pick up. I have agreed to pick these things up for her and all parties involved will follow social distancing and procedures to keep us all safe.

During the conversation my client spoke of her appreciation for myself and her Women’s Aid worker and said that we are irreplaceable. That one word reminded me why I choose the career path and the self-satisfaction it gives me.

But without my clients’ engagement, courage and strength I would not be able to achieve the job I do.

I personally feel that no matter how much support and advice I can offer my clients, without their engagement I am unable to build an open and honest relationship to move forward and progress in making a difference in their life.

Living in this Pandemic my life has slowed down immensely allowing more time to reflect back on all aspects of my life. I have definitely dissected and broken down situations and circumstances and moving forward I will approach these differently. It’s also made me realise how much our team at Penumbra West Fife means to myself on a daily basis, the continuous support professionally and personally, our laughs and tears, but most of all we offer each other a shoulder to lean on always. Thank you all.

*Beverley Smith is a Recovery Worker with the Penumbra Fife Service