Ali Chapman

New Staff Volunteer 2017 (Course Participant 2016)

Job Title – Support Worker with a passion to help people break free from whatever it may be that imprisons their soul

Five lives – School work/ Addiction/Self Harm

Bridge Collective – Expert by Experience, Dual Diagnosis

Recovery Champion - RISE

Career/ Background/ W2F

I have a variety of roles – all intertwine and connect in that they are working with people experiencing difficulties with addiction or mental health. I have lived experience of both.

I passionately believe that we all have the capacity to change and grow if the conditions are right and we are willing to take a leap of faith.

In a world that I found too fast, too confusing and uncaring at times Write to Freedom offered me an alternative. I could re connect with the landscape, notice all the beauty around me and potential within me and begin to forge connections with my kind of people. My tribe.

In my capacity as a support worker and facilitator I try to introduce key themes to people that have really worked for me in such a dramatic way: Nature, environment and connection. The importance of being grounded within myself and the world I live in. The power of creativity whether writing, art or music. The sense of power and release when pen is put to paper and that emotion/feeling is out of my head and can no longer destroy me.

I joined Write to Freedom as I still had within me the memories of how at one I was with the Moor when I was growing up – the sense of calm, wonder and mischievous adventure. I wanted to see it through the eyes of recovery.

They say muscle has memory – when my leg muscles touched that warm damp mossy ground on my first day at Higher Heathercombe I was home.

Hopes for the Next Year – What I can bring

I am so delighted that Write to Freedom (W2F) has four residentials this year – I want desperately for as many people in as wide an arena as possible to be given the chance to experience a spiritual transformation as I did. My hope is that I can continue to grow in any direction that W2F takes me. It can be totally unexpected – on the last residential, my first as a team member I was totally taken aback by the power of connecting with an all woman’s sharing circle. To feel comfortable, awakened and connected to these wonderful women who had so much to offer I felt truly blessed.

I would like to see the opportunity for people to attend these transformational wends to be opened up beyond peer supporters in RISE (http://www.riserecovery.org.uk/) – In my own recovery circle I know so many who would seize the opportunity if it arose.

I personally wish to continue growing learning and challenging myself to be of service to both the team and participants.

I bring passion, exuberance, calmness, creativity – I bring all of me.