When I got the chance to work on the new Substance Use Project in South West Edinburgh, I snapped it up! I have worked for HOT for the past 2 years and I really love it here. Getting to work for HOT and with my passion for drugs and alcohol is very exciting
This new project provides support to young people aged 12-25 years old who are affected by their own substance use and/or their parent’s substance use and who live in the South West of Edinburgh. We’re going to do this by offering one-to-one support, where we meet young people somewhere close to where they live or at school so they can talk about whatever might be bothering them and help them to cope with that. We are also going to do some group work with young people and some training with workers, to help them better understand how they can help young people affected by drugs and alcohol.
My role since March has been to start this new service. I have a big task ahead of me thinking about how the service will work best, getting to know the area and letting people know about the service. You might have a big task ahead of you too, maybe working on a project at school, college or work. You might have exams coming up that you need to plan and prepare for. It really helped me to think about my learning style, as we all have different ways that we find it easier to learn. I am quite a visual learner (to learn by looking at things) so it helps me if I have diagrams, pictures and maps to help me work. I made two maps of South West Edinburgh to help me understand the area and find out where things are.
Other people may be auditory learners, which means they learn by listening to things and by talking to people about their ideas. Kinesthetic means movement, people who have this learning style like to be active and do things. People may also like to learn by reading and taking notes will really help them. You might know which of these learning styles helps you or you can take a questionnaire to find out: http://vark-learn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/The-VARK-Questionnaire-Younger.pdf
My manager Niki P also helped me to think about the new project, it is important to have someone to talk to and support you when you are taking on a new challenge. She also suggested that I keep a diary of all the different things I was doing. This has been very helpful for two reasons. 1. I can see everything I have done so I don’t forget or do things twice and 2. It is good to look at all the hard work I’ve put in and what I have achieved on days when things are difficult.
Sometimes when things aren’t going smoothly we can feel a lot of pressure to do well and give ourselves a hard time if things aren’t going to plan. It is important that we try to treat ourselves with the same kindness that we would treat other people. If you’re not feeling good about yourself or you’re in a difficult situation you could make a list of all the things you do well. There will be loads of good things about you- even if you’re struggling to see them. Maybe you could ask a friend or someone in your family to help? Sometimes seeing these things written down can really help us to see how well we’re doing. Looking after ourselves is also important and we need to pay extra attention to this when we’re going through a difficult time. Things I find helpful are to make sure I get enough sleep, to go for a walk and to have a bath with candles
These things have really helped me with taking on a new project at HOT and I hope they can help you too!
P.S. If you want to know more about the Substance Use Project or are a young person looking for support, please get in touch on 0131 468 4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org