Anne heard about Future Pathways through the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. Since then, Anne has worked with her Support Coordinators to access the right support for her.
Future Pathways supported Anne with some practical needs. For example, Anne accessed the Discretionary Fund to purchase a laptop. Anne was nervous about using the laptop since she has dyslexia. But having a laptop helped Anne build up her confidence and digital skills.
Future Pathways also helped Anne access mental health support. When she started working with Future Pathways, Anne was going through a very difficult time. Anne accessed counselling through one of Future Pathways’ Delivery Partners.
Taking the time to tell her story in counselling helped Anne in her recovery. Having support from her Support Coordinator during the Inquiry also helped her manage.
With Future Pathways’ support, Anne was able to address her home environment. At the time, Anne was dealing with harassment from neighbours, and she did not feel safe where she lived. Because of these challenges, Anne felt isolated. Future Pathways purchased a membership at a cinema, to help Anne enjoy time away from the house.
With Future Pathways’ support, Anne was able to move to a new area, close to her family. Future Pathways also helped Anne buy household items to settle into her new home.
Now, Anne wants to make difference to others through the Voices for a Better Future group. Being a member of Voices for a Better Future has given Anne insight that not everyone has positive experiences with Future Pathways. Anne feels there might be some things Future Pathways could do to improve. For example, following up with people after about their experiences working with our Delivery Partners, and reducing the need to work with different Support Coordinators.
Overall, Anne feels working with Future Pathways made a positive difference in her life.
About a year and a half now.
It was a friend. He got me to go to Wellbeing Scotland, and they told me about Future Pathways.
Well, I didn’t really have much self-confidence and stuff. My Support Coordinator helped me to learn to ask for help. It’s a thing I found hard before, because of the way I’ve been brought up in life: basically, help always cost me something.
One of the first things my Support Coordinator did is she got me a laptop: it’s a type of thing I would never spend money on just for me. She got me to understand that I’ve got to look out for me as well. And in the long run, that will help everybody else.
I found it great just sitting on the laptop. I like to learn, but I never had the confidence to learn and I was never encouraged. A website about photography came up. Years and years ago, I had a small camera and I loved it. I would just go out and walk and take photos.
So Future Pathways helped me get a camera, which helped me. It gave me a reason to get out there and do something just for me, basically.
It’s definitely different. See the name Future Pathways? It’s like before, my pathway was always leading around about and coming back again, but they helped me make a different pathway, which has opened up the inner belief in me. I can do this, I can take photographs, I can do whatever.
I’m going to start a writing course in a couple of weeks, and that’s something I would never have even considered. I’ll be nervous! I’ll be uptight still, but I’ve got the belief to try it.
A while ago, my boy got me and my partner a Christmas present: a flight to Dublin. I never used it, because I didn’t have the confidence. But Future Pathways helped me, so I went for it, me and my partner. It’s the first time that we’ve been on a plane. I’m over 50 years old, and it was the first time I was on an aeroplane, the first time I’d looked at the clouds from the other side.
It was only a short flight, but it’s something I would have never attempted, never thought about. But now I know I can do this. It’s the simple things in life, that other people take for granted… they’re the most important things for me.
Rikki had been struggling with his mental health and particularly with flashbacks. Lara put Rikki in contact with the Anchor, the Glasgow Psychological Trauma Service. Through the Anchor, Rikki accessed EMDR therapy. This is a type of therapy which can help people process trauma. Rikki found that this experience helped him to look at past experiences from his present perspective, as an adult. Together Rikki and Lara also explored how complimentary therapies, such as reiki and mindfulness techniques, could benefit his mental health. This helped Rikki find useful approaches to cope with flashbacks.
Volunteering has always been important to Rikki. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rikki volunteered to meet and greet people at his local hospital. After accessing support from Future Pathways, Rikki wanted to do something to support Future Pathways.
Lara encouraged Rikki to get involved with Making Pathways Together. Through this project, people who have accessed support from Future Pathways gave us feedback to help us improve the service. Rikki also got involved in our survivors’ voice group, Voices for a Better Future. This group brings together people who are registered with Future Pathways with the aim of improving services for other survivors.
Currently, Rikki and other group members are working with Future Pathways to develop peer support within our service. Although at first Rikki felt hesitant to get involved in the group, being part of Voices for a Better Future has helped him feel more confident and helped Rikki move past feelings of shame and embarrassment that have affected his past relationships.
Being part of this group has also helped him develop relationships with people who also want to make a positive change.
Overall, being involved with Voices for a Better Future has been a very fulfilling experience for Rikki.
She was motivated to call the Inquiry by her relationship with her son. Because of her past traumas and the shame she felt, Maggie felt she had not been able to be the mother that she wanted to be. For example, Maggie struggled to play games or show physical affection with her son as a child because this was not modelled to her when she was a child. This was devastating to her. Maggie also contacted the Inquiry because she felt strongly that justice was needed, and it was important to her to be heard.
The Inquiry referred Maggie to Future Pathways and Maggie started working with a Support Coordinator called Lisa. Maggie met Lisa for the first time in person at a cafe, along with Maggie’s son. This was a big step for Maggie who hadn’t spoken to anyone apart from her son in a long time. Maggie recognised some people she knew at the café, and this was triggering. Lisa understood and they found somewhere Maggie felt comfortable. Maggie instantly felt comfortable with Lisa. She felt that there were no barriers up and it was as though they had known each other for years.
It took time for Maggie to trust Future Pathways because previously she had negative experiences with other services which had made her feel poorly informed, dismissed, or dropped which made her feel as though she had done something wrong. Lisa understood how important it was to be consistent.
As time went on, Lisa and Maggie developed a trusting relationship and Maggie opened up about the anger she felt. Lisa always responded with compassion and never assumed what Maggie would want or need. Maggie appreciates that Lisa always checks in to make sure she understands what Maggie tells her, and to make sure Maggie was okay after an emotional phone call.
Maggie enjoyed art when she was younger and was interested in finding a creative outlet. Maggie had been attending a local pottery class and had built up a good relationship with the tutor. However, this became unavailable locally which felt like a real set-back. Lisa supported Maggie to recover after this and to explore other options.
Maggie heard about a local studio delivering classes. Future Pathways used discretionary funding to enrol Maggie in a jewellery class. When this wasn’t the right fit, due to Maggie’s mobility challenges, Future Pathways supported Maggie to explore alternatives and Maggie engaged in classes in ceramics, mosaics, and stained-glass art. Nobody at the studio knew Maggie or her past which meant she felt able start with a fresh slate.
Lisa also supported Maggie to start working with a psychologist, Amy. Amy helped Maggie to develop coping skills to manage her triggers. Strategies included taking breaks from her phone and expressing boundaries in her relationships with others. Maggie felt believed by Amy and Lisa, which made this relationship work.
Now, Maggie continues to create and is currently making a piece for Future Pathways. Her mosaic incorporates an image of a yellow brick road to symbolise her hopes for the future. Maggie has a passion for poetry. Her poetry is inspired by Scotland’s slave-trade history, and she also writes about her personal experiences which she finds cathartic. Going forward, Maggie would like to write her life story and recently she wrote a poem about applying for Redress. Maggie feels it is important to give survivors opportunities to tell their stories. Maggie feels more able to stand up for herself and uphold her boundaries. She feels able to help and support others and has more faith in herself.
While Maggie finds it distressing that abuse still happens in care settings, she feels motivated to contribute to positive change. She feels it is important for services to learn from mistakes and to be transparent and honest when making commitments. Maggie feels that Future Pathways should provide support for the children of survivors and address the inter-generational impact of trauma. This is informed by Maggie’s experiences with her son with whom she has now developed a positive relationship.
Maggie feels that Future Pathways’ support has been lifechanging. After struggling with her mental health in the past, she now feels that there is someone in her life who can help.
Now Yvonne is training for the role which involves supporting people who are going through the justice system. Yvonne is excited about the opportunities this will open up for her.
Before working with the psychologist, Rita found it difficult to complete everyday tasks like going to busy public places. She felt permanently on high alert and found it difficult when people approached her or came into her personal space.
Rita’s Support Coordinator felt that a crucial contributor to the success of this working relationship was taking the process at Rita’s pace, adapting to Rita’s evolving needs, and taking the time to develop a safe foundation from which Rita could start working through her trauma and begin to build coping strategies.
In the review, Rita shared that she now feels much more able to go out into public spaces and do things that previously triggered her anxiety. Other people in Rita’s life have also noticed a positive difference in her. Recently she went to a restaurant and was able to enjoy her meal despite others sitting near her and recently she went to a supermarket and suddenly realised she wasn’t feeling panicked.
Although Rita’s anxiety does still affect her, she feels proud of herself for taking these strides. By engaging with therapy, Rita has learned tools to support her to manage her anxiety, and now feels ready to work on her trauma with her psychologist while continuing to apply these tools to her everyday life.
When she met her Support Coordinator, Marie shared that she felt like she didn’t have a lot of time to herself. She felt that she often prioritised other people’s needs, and this had affected her confidence. Marie’s Support Coordinator helped her to consider what her interests were, and she shared that she had always been interested in gardening. Marie had worked in a garden several years previously and was interested in picking up these skills again.
With her Support Coordinator’s encouragement, Marie started volunteering there once a week. This gave her some dedicated time in the week for herself and made her feel more confident and valued, while also allowing her to gain more skills in gardening and feel more engaged with her local community
Sadly, shortly after starting to work with Future Pathways, a close family member died. While grieving this loss, Marie and her family were also struggling to pay the costs of the funeral, which caused worry and strain during an already difficult time. This was made more difficult because they had lived far away.
Her Support Coordinator also helped Marie contact the local authority to explore options for funeral cost support which reduced financial pressure considerably. This enabled Marie and her family to grieve their loss without worrying about getting into debt.
After returning from the funeral, Marie started struggling with her mental health as thoughts and memories from her past in care resurfaced. She decided to talk to Future Pathways about accessing counselling. Marie shared with her Support Coordinator how important it was to be able to relate with her counsellor so that she could feel comfortable talking about her trauma. Her Support Coordinator researched some options.
Marie chose a counsellor who she felt comfortable with and over time they developed a relationship which allowed Marie to explore how her trauma impacts her in the present. Future Pathways also provided funds for materials for a creative project which Marie did alongside counselling to express her life story. Marie feels this support has allowed her to develop a different, more rounded perspective on what she needs going forward. She no longer feels she is facing life’s challenges alone.