Rikki heard about Future Pathways in 2017, after contributing to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. He started working with a Support Coordinator called Lara.
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.
“I used to see one wee thing on the TV and I was back there in my mind. Now I have the techniques so that the flashbacks don’t stay with me.”
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.
“You looked after me. You have got me to this stage. Now I want to give something back. I want to share what Future Pathways has done for me.”
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.
“It has given me a lot of confidence. My life experiences are what I bring to the table.”
Being part of this group has also helped him develop relationships with people who also want to make a positive change.
“We became closer as a group. The respect is there. […] It is all about helping others […] We laugh together. Sometimes there’s a bit of emotion. People want to be heard. I can’t advise but I can sit there and listen.”
Overall, being involved with Voices for a Better Future has been a very fulfilling experience for Rikki.