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7am: I wake up and have breakfast and a coffee. The role of a Mental Health Recovery Worker (MHRW) is multifaceted, and each day brings something new, so I like to try and take time in the morning to gather my thoughts and relax. I live on a farm outside Gloucester, so drive to work and tend to leave around 8am.

9am: I get into the office and go over my emails with a coffee. Tenants at Gloucester and Stroud Supported Housing live in self-contained flats. Our office is in the same building, with a communal room for appointments attached. I take the first hour of the morning to catch up on what’s been happening via the online records. I discuss any updates or incidents with colleagues and prepare for appointments that I have arranged with tenants later in the day.

10am: My first appointment is with someone who has recently moved into Gloucester Supported Housing. People are referred to us via the local NHS mental health trust. We provide a range of emotional and practical support to adults with mental health needs. When people first move in, there’s a lot to be done to help them get set up. This includes completing benefits applications, setting up bills, liaising with the housing association and supporting the tenant to settle into the community.

Today I am working with the tenant to complete a safety assessment. This is important to help identify how we can support them to stay safe, looking at times that have felt unsafe and what has helped. Tenants can find this a difficult process, so I always make sure to prepare them for what to expect and go at their pace.

At the end of the appointment the tenant said it had been challenging but was also a useful opportunity to reflect on positive coping strategies.

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Sally

12pm: My next appointment is with someone who has been living here for nearly a year and now feels ready to move on from supported accommodation to live independently. We discuss where they would like to move and the move on process. It’s positive to see the impact the housing service can make.

1pm: I carry out a health and safety and fire alarm check and report a repair that I’ve spotted to the housing association. As a MHRW, an important part of my role is to ensure the building and the tenants’ flats are safe, and well maintained.

1.30-3pm: Today is the gardening group which we run once a week. My colleague also runs an art group on Fridays. Some tenants find it difficult to go out into the community. Running activities at the service provides an opportunity to engage in a therapeutic activity, develop a hobby, build confidence and socialise. This is a positive step towards engaging with wider community activities.

Today we are putting in a raised bed to increase our growing space, hopefully we’ll have lots of veg growing out of it by summer!

3pm: I meet with a tenant who has been at Gloucester Supported Housing for a few months. The tenant is now managing their bills and tenancy well. Our appointments are more focused around supporting the tenant to access the community and develop independent living skills and hobbies. Today I am supporting the tenant to apply for volunteering roles in the local community. It’s rewarding to see people doing well.

4pm: I spend the last hour of the day catching up on emails and paperwork and recording my appointments with tenants on the online system.

5pm: Home time is around five. I will often spend the evening relaxing on the farm with my partner and some good food!

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