As you have kindly previously donated to Aurora’s Crowdfunding Project you have been receiving regular update reports on its progress. Our project was made possible by Global Giving - the first and largest global crowdfunding community – and it is part of our agreement to produce regular (i.e. quarterly) project reports.
This, the 7th report, gives you a number of updates on various activities at Aurora, including a goodbye to one client (John) whose “journey” has been captured in previous reports. John’s recovery has been made possible by your generous donations.
In 2016, Aurora was awarded a grant via Global Giving and one activity funded by this money was to run workshops for Aurora clients. We run such community events as many victims of abuse are isolated making them socially/emotionally disconnected from other people. One “ex-client” from Aurora has said:
“I’m often asked what has helped me to get to this stage in my recovery – well one main thing was the therapeutic community I attended at Aurora that helped me to safely build confidence being around others which then helped me to improve how I felt around other people outside of the community. I attended even when I felt I wanted to hide away under the duvet because what I’d learnt in individual therapy could be practised in the safety of community events and that was invaluable to my recovery. I built confidence and gradually felt less afraid of being with other people.”
The last report referred to these workshops and I’m pleased to say that since then we have run two on “Relaxation” and “Self-Care”. The workshops were attended by 5 and 6 clients respectively and the feedback from both is overwhelming positive. One client attending the “Relaxation” workshop said:
“Very simple and straightforward, very practical and the effects I found were immensely positive. Very supportive.
Another attending the workshop on “Self-Care” said:
“Very well presented, easy to follow and in a language that was easy to understand. Also, useful examples and objects presented to further understand the subject matter. Shared experiences with others at Aurora was also useful”
Another activity funded by the Global Giving grant is to produce a CD of songs by Aurora’s resident choir called “Aurora Chorealis". We are still building our repertoire (and musical ability) to be in a position to record but we did perform at our Christmas fundraising “concert” in a local church.
At the concert, which included a “sing-a-long” for the 50 strong audience,we performed “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Lean on Me”, and one of our members did an extraordinary solo performance of “Starman” backed by the choir and complete with him wearing a David Bowie mask. I wish I had pictures! The event also included a raffle and we raised over £500.
John started therapy at Aurora in July 2015 and was first mentioned in the second report published in December 2015 when he said:
“Hi there my name is John. I have been coming to Aurora for nearly four months now and I have come on so well. I was abused as a child and I was in such a bad place before so my GP gave Aurora’s details and I contacted them. I have never looked back. It’s such a great place to go and talk and the help you get is outstanding. Even when I still have bad days I can call and have a chat to one of the team which always seems to help.
There is no way I could do this without the funding because I can’t afford to pay for my help, I am on a low wage and when I’m sick from work I don’t get paid. Although this is not as regular as it once was I still have bad days and I just can’t work. I would like to thank you all very much for the funding.”
Early in 2017, John reached the stage in his recovery when he and his counsellor felt he no longer needed therapy at Aurora. He had his last session in mid January and at the time his mother sent me the following email:
“Over the past year my son John was put forward to your organisation for help after many places saying they couldn't help him. You and all your staff instantly began to help him.
When John first came to you he was in a very bad place and spent most of his days under a blanket unable to get on with his life.
It has been a very long and painful journey for him but with all the help and support your team has given him, especially his therapist, he now has control of his life and is beginning to live again.
I will forever be grateful for all the compassion and care you have given John.
Aurora is a fantastic place and without places like yours I dread to think what would happen to people like John. I know from experience that there aren't many places like yours and you deserve to get all the funding you need to keep these places going. I would also like to say I know how hard you all work getting fundraising so you can help people like John.
This is John’s last session with you and I know he is in a much better place now. I am so proud of him and know he will continue his life with confidence and that is all down to you and your team.”
Although John has ended therapy he remains a very active member of the Aurora Client Advisory Group (ACAG) which is the “user involvement” part of the organisation. John being able to “graduate” from Aurora is down to his own hard (and painful) work, the dedication and commitment of his counsellor, and also made possible by your support. Thank you so much!