My first week at Mosaic

Adapted from a speech given by Jo to the Board of Trustees in January 2020

This is only my first week here at Mosaic so I was honoured to be able to have the opportunity to address the board of Trustees.  I cannot promise that this will be a scholarly piece of work but is simply my experience and feelings of my first week. I am sure they will mature and change over the next few weeks, months and possibly years.

Before I came to Mosaic I was isolated, having been hospitalised and hiding in the house. My marriage was rocky and my husband was unable to understand why I was not doing anything.

When my therapist spoke about Mosaic I had no idea what it was. I was afraid that it was for younger adults, something I was familiar with in my tiny home town in Ireland.

The first tour was a bit overwhelming and while it seemed like a place I might be able to fit in, what on earth could I do? Everyone seemed so confident and I wanted to hide under the table. My confidence was at rock bottom and I decided to wait for the New Year to attend properly.

First day suffering from terrible nerves and feeling like first day at school. I was wondering where and what I ought to be doing when a ball of energy bounced into the room. It was Luna, one of the Engagement Workers. She brought me to the Business and Admin unit, with her indefatigable love of work mentored me. Sandwiched between Luna and Will I was soon working on the database, typing and before I knew where the time was gone I had volunteered for the reception.

Reception was a bit of a challenge. I am a leftie and trying to find the members’ names write in the times and press the button on the internal door was a juggling act as I had to use the same hand for both the time sheet and the release catch. However it was Sarah whom I worked with and she was more than willing to help me and walk me through my tasks and even helped me with the phone. Of course my first time on the phone ended up in a complete muddle.  However most people understood and by the end of the hour I was much more comfortable; so much so that this afternoon I actually volunteered to do the phones.  

The peer to peer reading was where I really felt I could help as I loved the rewards of teaching and guiding another member to finally understand compound words. Her excitement was a joy to behold.

The gardening group was another revelation. Seeing as I was reluctant to go as I had managed to kill a cactus and believed I was less nurturing than a desert. However the morning flew and some of the group seemed to value my eye for where the pots might look best.

Both of these experiences made me feel more positive and that I was actually benefiting and helping others. 

For my own personal life, my husband has declared that he has a new wife. Gone is the frightened little mouse that was unable to leave the house or do anything! Indeed my positivity and love of life has returned. I still have bad days but they are much farther apart.

I do not expect a miracle and I know Mosaic cannot help me with all the struggles I face but as we say in Ireland Tús math, leath na hoibre, a good start is half the work and I certainly feel like Mosaic has given me the best start to the best decade of my life!

"these experiences made me feel more positive and that I was actually benefiting and helping others."

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65 Effra Road, Brixton
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Tel: 020 7924 9657

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Mosaic Clubhouse is part of a worldwide network of clubhouses that exist to provide support and opportunities to people living with a mental health condition.

Mosaic Clubhouse is a registered charity No: 1071705. Company No: 3403522

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