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Meet Cornelia, Progression Coach for Step Up

Meet Cornelia – enthusiastic darts player, big fan of olives, and Progression Coach for our Step Up service, which helps people with mental health conditions into volunteering.

Cornelia's taking a selfie with volunteers smiling and waving in the background

This month, we’re proud to be celebrating 2 years since Cornelia joined Step Up! Here’s a Q & A to celebrate her time with us.

What do you do as a Progression Coach?

I lead one-on-one sessions with Step Up members to develop a plan for their recovery journey. It’s so personal, so it involves a lot of talking to them about their volunteering and employment goals and then figuring out how we get there!

We have lots of conversations about the issues they may be facing to help break down barriers, stigma, and help them recognise and develop their skills.

What are your highlights from your time here?

One time we all found ourselves meditating as a Step Up member lead us into an impromptu mindfulness session! It was such a special moment – we all stopped what we were doing and just shared that space. It was funny how random it was, but also really touching. Everyone supported the person who felt really passionately about it, and just joined in without questioning it. It really makes a difference to bring people who have been otherwise isolated together to share moments like that.

What’s special about Step Up?

We don’t limit the number of sessions, and we can see members as often as they need! And Step Up can act as an extra tool alongside therapy and/or medication. There are definitely places that help people get into employment, but not many that help with mental health too.

And why do you focus on volunteering in your approach?

Volunteering is such a great way of growing your confidence, employment skills, community, and routine. A lot of people I work with want to give back to their community, and it’s a really feel-good thing to do.

Proudest achievement?

Seeing people grow in confidence on the programme and turn their difficulties with mental health into something positive. It’s so rewarding to see them supporting others in the community who are on their own recovery journeys. Our members have gone on to teach yoga, run mental health groups, and befriend isolated members of the community.

That’s all from Cornelia for today – stay tuned for our next Meet the Team blog with another Step Up Progression Coach!

Read more about Step Up here.

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