Staff Stories – Liz’s story's story

I have been a member of Roots for 3 years. I had been a fulltime Carer for a while and heard about Roots and always wanted to come. To come here gave me my own space as its very calming. Then I became a volunteer and as of October, a fulltime employee.

I have suffered with mental health issues for a few years with recurring depression. So being here is therapy for me and I get to learn things and meet people. I have done a course in Health & Safety so I can help in the kitchen and make the lunches when everyone else is busy. I have up days and down days but since coming here I have fewer down days.

The staff here have been amazing. They treat you as equals. They let you learn, and I have then done things in my own garden such as raised beds etc. that I learned here. So, the impact of coming here isn’t felt just here but when you leave here you continue to use everything you learn.

Coming here, it’s not just about your mental health, substance use disorders, or offending.  You’re made to feel more included in the community.

During COVID it was bad for me as my partner was very poorly, so I had to isolate. It didn’t affect my mental health too much and once I could return as a volunteer it really helped.

I have a tattoo of a phoenix because my wife passed away in July and she was like a phoenix returning from the ashes as she kept coming back for a few years. The phoenix also represents places like Roots that help you rise.

Without Roots, I am not sure what life would be like for me now. It plays a huge part in helping me maintain my mental stability and gives me a reason to keep moving forward.