Collett O’ Connor

Project Coordinator HIV Street Support Team

Office: 0141 3322520

Why did you choose to work for Waverley Care?

I was/am thrilled to see a service that understands and actively responds to the needs of its service users. Instead of having a service for people to come in to, Waverley care have created a service that goes out to vulnerable people who may not have access to support through the impact of poverty, social exclusion and childhood trauma. That is powerful.

Tell us about life before Waverley Care.

Coming from a socially disadvantaged area and experiencing the inequalities that often go with that, I know some of the difficulties that our services users face daily. Despite adversity, I was fortunate enough to attend University to gain an Undergraduate degree and a Masters. Having an understanding of how problematic it can be to be underprivileged, I decided to give back to the community I came from. I have worked as a tutor for students at University who came from similar backgrounds to me and who suffered with learning difficulties and mental health issues. This lead me to work in the mental health field, working with people who were under section and had a primary diagnosis of Personality Disorder as a direct result of their adverse childhood experiences. Noting that more often than not, substance use was a tool in which people used for survival, I later became interested in and began working at an Addictions service as a Recovery Worker. This has lead me here, to Waverley Care.

What do you most enjoy about working with Waverley Care

The people! That includes staff and service users. There is such a strong sense of community and partnership in this work that is fueled by kindness, generosity and understanding.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a huge movie buff so regularly go to the cinema. I also like to attend local film festivals where possible to see independent films. Music is huge part of my life too, so going to gigs and festivals with friends is important to me. I love to sing, write poetry and cook.

Who inspires you?

The people who often inspire me are not always famous. They are service users, work colleagues, friends and family. People who have had to find strength in hardship and use that experience to learn, grow and care for others. Of course there are artists/activists that I respect and admire. Usually those who have used fought for change. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” “Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” Both are from Maya Angelou

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