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Get Well, Stay Well, Move On Podcast 1 - Who we are, what we do and how we can help you!




Listen to our first podcast on Spotify here:


M – Hi everyone, you’re listening to our first official podcast with RCA Trust and this is the Get Well, Stay Well, Move on Podcast. Welcome everyone. My name is Maria and I will be one of your podcast hosts this month, and I am here with my colleague…

B – My name is Bekkah and I’ll also be your podcast host this month.

M – And essentially for this first podcast we just want to give you an introduction to what were going to be doing and covering for the next wee while and tell you a wee bit about our service and who we are. So Bekkah you can kick us off – who are RCA Trust?

B – So at RCA Trust here we do all things addiction and recovery so that is pretty much the premise for this podcast, all things addiction and recovery. We are an addictions charity, based in Paisley and we’ve been here since 1977, so beelining for our 50th anniversary. We cover all forms of traditional addictions, and we offer a lot of one-to-one support, training, education and prevention as well as peer group work.

M - 50 years is a long time

B – Yeah, it is a long time, we were just young whipper snappers at that point

M – Yeah definitely! This is a good time to mention that we are going to be talking about some sensitive topics throughout these podcasts like addiction, suicidal thoughts, trauma. Just to let you know that there will be a trigger warning with this podcast, and the podcasts to follow. We will renew it every month, and point out what the subject matter may be, just keep yourselves safe.

Alongside the counselling services that we provide here at the RCA Trust, we do also have our accommodations service. This is where we have a team of staff who support any of our clients in tenancies that we’ve provided for them, or they go and support them in their own tenancy. We have 12 flats that we own in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, and they are for any of clients who come through our do who are homeless or at risk of presenting as homeless and we provide that tenancy for them which is married up with support from our accommodations team. We do not run an abstinence-based model for these flats, so if you are in active addiction, you can access this aspect of the service and it is good to have the accommodations team to support you back into the routine of owning a tenancy again if it is something you haven’t done in a while. They’ll get you back into that state of mind where it is something you need to look after and tend to.

B – Obviously alongside that, we do offer floating support as well, so you don’t have to be in one of our properties to receive accommodations support and it’s a really great service to access to get back on your feet, back into that routine of looking after your own tenancy. That all comes part in part with our last aspect of the service which is a lot of community work! It’s been really on the up and up for the past couple of months. That can look like a lot of different things, it can look like networking and things like that. But I think the area that’s been the most prevalent for us in the gambling team at the moment is the work that we’ve been doing in the community foodbank and larders. Just having conversations with people about gambling when they’re in a laid-back environment and seeing what pops up from those chats. If its going to be helpful for someone to takeaway some advice and brief intervention work or exploring whether someone would find it useful to access for intense interventions.

M – And not to forget our fantastic groups! We started to create groups for men and women within our service about a year ago where they can come in, speak to the people who work with us and create a community for themselves. A few of the women who have come to work with us have found that they have no support network, no friends or family, so they found that coming to the group and speaking to other women who share similar experiences has been very helpful for them. I think we can be very proud of our groups.

B – Yeah, we definitely can. I think obviously, peer support is something that has been tried and proven to be really effective within addiction recovery, but coming off the back of lockdown and Covid, the amount of social isolation was a real eye opener. I don’t think we were aware of how many individuals don’t speak to very many people throughout a week. And the benefits of having somewhere they can access where they can get a cup of tea, some biscuits, and some good chat.

M – And a lot of crafting! A lot of knitting, if that’s something that you’re ever interested in some knitting, painting, paper crafts, lot of different creative outlets. Obviously exploring ‘healthier coping mechanisms’, ways to pass your time that does not involve drugs, alcohol or gambling. It’s about exploring those coping mechanisms and how we use them in practical situations. I think the groups have been really helpful with that, and they love a quiz!

B – Maria here is our resident quiz master.

M – I am, I’ll be on quiz shows soon days. Keep an eye out for me presenting The Chase.

B – The next big project for the RCA!

M – So yeah, our groups really have been going well, and again that’s another avenue of support we provide for people, because some people come into our groups and don’t engage with the one-to-ones

B – Some people come into the one-to-ones and don’t access the groups, its back to that person-centred approach.

M – It is your call, we’re just here to support you. So for our drug and alcohol support, we do just cover Renfrewshire and part of East Renfrewshire. But for gambling we are one of the main treatment providers in Scotland and we do service nearly all local authorities in Scotland. So with this podcast, we want to get our name out there, especially to promote our gambling support so that people know who we are, that we are here, and know how to contact us.

B – Yeah, and I think the big thing about our mission for the podcast is that we would really like to help shape some of that change that’s happening around stigma and the barriers to recovery. It’s not something to be ashamed of, its not something to not speak about and you don’t have to shoulder that burden all on your own and we can help you carry and deal with that emotional load and help you get to where you want to be so you can effectively, GET WELL, STAY WELL AND, you guessed it,  MOVE ON.

M - Good wee trademark there Bekkah, love it. It’s all about having that chat and see if you feel that you can’t have a chat with your social circle, then come have a chat with us! Or a listen through our podcast and see if that provides you any type of support. As long as this podcast helps one person, we’ll be quite happy.

In terms of what were going to be doing on the podcast, we have a lot of good things lined up, we’ve put quite a bit of planning into this if we do say so ourselves. So, we’re going to be speaking to people that we’ve directly worked with who are happy to share their own experiences with drug, alcohol and/or gambling. They are going to speak about their own experiences, we’ll ask them questions and that will maybe pose as inspiration to other people. We’ve got a few staff members who work on our team who have their own lived experience and what it looks like for them going through this experience themselves with drugs/alcohol/gambling and how they’ve moved into this sector. Also, what working in this sector actually looks like – where that difference lies. We’ll also be looking at speaking to some other organisations, we’ve got a few lined up who are going to give us more of a professional standpoint of addiction and how it falls into their line of work in areas like mental health and major sport.

B – So while we hope that this is going to be a really good, effective tool for people to engage with out with counselling, or if a person is considering entering some form of addiction recovery, its also a really good safe space for people who love someone who is in active addiction. Concerned significant others (CSO’s) or affected others (AO) are also just as impacted by someone’s addiction as the person themselves, so this is a really good place to maybe look for some tips and tricks when dealing with the person that you love, or to help with ways to have conversations around addiction with a person that you do love.

M - At the same time, were not here to be all doom and gloom, we want to let you know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and people will be speaking about the negative aspects of their addiction and the things that it took from them, but they also speak about the fact that they’re moving on. That they’re part of that getting well, staying well and moving on. But the fact that they have moved on is that hope, and that something that we put forward at RCA Trust, is that kind of hope beyond what the addiction defines you as. You’re more than just your addiction.

B – And you know, recovery comes to an end. And life begins again. And I think that’s really important to note, especially when we look at all of the different topics over the course of the next 12 months specifically abstinence vs harm reduction it is really important to remember that life continues, and the earth does not stop spinning for us. It’s about getting back on that horse and finding that sense of equilibrium in your life again.

M - So Bekkah, tell us a wee bit about what you specifically do at the RCA Trust, what is your job?

B – Okay so you might have guessed from my little tidbit about concerned significant others that is actually me that works with concerned significant others! So I am the family support officer here at RCA on the gambling team. So I work with the parents, partners, siblings, children, co-workers, employers or friends of someone who gambles. When we look at gambling-related harms they say that for every 1 person that gambles, 6 to 10 people in that individuals wider social circle are affected by their gambling-related harm and that can come in a massive array of different ways that it can impact somebody’s life. So the majority of the work that I do is a lot of one-to-one sessions with family members and help them get themselves into a position where they can best support the person that they love and look at how they can implement support for that person’s gambling behaviours. What about you Maria, what do you do here at the RCA?

M – So I also work on the gambling team, my job is not so much client facing. So my main duties lie in education, prevention and early intervention, my main role is training. I go around Scotland delivering training to different groups of professionals and individuals such as the homeless population, veterans or people within the criminal justice system and I teach them about gambling addiction, the signs to look out for, how to refer, how to support somebody and how to start that conversation. I’ve been doing that for coming on 2 years. Alongside that, I also work the social media channels along with Bekkah and I am now doing this podcast.

B – We are now podcast hosts! Not sure its in our job titles but we should definitely push for a contract change!

M – It’s another weapon in our arsenal! It’s good that we’ve been able to gain such an array of skills, my brain is muddled with the amount I’ve learned in the past two years, but it’s been really, really interesting. And I learn from everyone that I work with as I’m sure it’s the same for Bekkah and that’s why we think that sitting doing this podcast is another way for us to learn as well, especially from the guests that we’re getting on. It’ll be a good way to learn.

B – There’s going to be opportunities to meet the rest of our team as the podcasts go on throughout the rest of the year and I’m sure you’ll all be riveted to hear about what they do within our family here at the RCA Trust but I think the thing that resonates with us all the most is that we are a person-centred service. We always put the client and their needs at the focal point of the work that we do and it’s always about getting someone well. And that pathway looks different for everyone. That pathway for one person might be very abstinence based, pathway for the next person might be harm-reduction, and the pathway for the next person might be motivational change, and supporting them to a point where they want to make changes and we are so happy to mould and let the session be led by the client and what their needs may be because not everyone has the same needs.

M – Oh absolutely, and people leaves us…

B – Oh yeah, and then they come back

M – And then possibly leave us again, but we are more than happy to support that. We do operate on an open door policy, so people can come back as many times as they need, if they want to see our beautiful shining faces Monday through Friday.

B – I think Maria is talking about her own face, because mines certainly isn’t shiny first thing on a Monday morning.

M – Nor’s mine until at least I’ve had my coffee! It’s quite exciting that we’ve been granted this honour to do this podcast and speak to you all. The podcasts are going to be around a wee half hour or so every month. We don’t want to be 2/3 hours like a ted talk, but we want it to be short, snappy, have the information in there that we want you to hear and at the end of every podcast we will put our information so you can contact us. Right now you might not be felling ready, but the more you listen to us talking about different things, giving different harm-reduction strategies etc, it might get you to a point where you’re ready to speak to someone, and we’ll be here ready to take the call!

B – I think this is a really good point to pop in, that while we are going to be realising the podcast on a monthly basis, if you come across our podcast and think it would benefit someone who is maybe hard of hearing or does not have any interest in listening to podcasts, we will also be transcribing this into a blog post so it is digestible in other mediums. What are you looking forward to the most about the podcast Maria?

M - I think just meeting everyone and being able to speak to everyone in a laid back setting. I feel like within sessions, within meetings and training sessions, it’s all formal to some degree. But this is so laidback, it’s conversational, people can let down their guard a bit when they’re in here. And hopefully by listening you can let your guard down as well and just be vulnerable! Tell people how you feel, have the chats! Changes the world.

B – A stiff upper lip didn’t do anyone any favours.

M – Never! Communication I would say is one of our biggest assets as humans. We’re all capable of it to some degree, it’s just trying to urge people to do it more often. And that’s what I’m excited for throughout this podcast. What are you excited for Bekkah?

B – So I think over the past couple of years working in the sector, and coming from the drug and alcohol side of the service to the gambling side of the service, one of the things that resonates most with me that I hear from a lot of clients is that feeling of feeling like you’re the only person in the world that is struggling with any form of addiction and I think what I’m looking forward to the most is finding out what kind of impact hearing other people telling their stories has for someone. You are not alone. You are not alone, no matter how isolated you think you feel and the emotions that you’re feeling at this point in time, or how difficult that uphill battle can be – there is many footsteps in front of you and there’s always going to be someone who can look back and give you a hand and emotionally support you along your way.

M - Yeah I do like that, when you look at anybody in any type of addiction one of the first things that they say is how alone they felt. I think that’s the first thing you see across all, regardless of whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, any addiction that someone experiences. That isolation is such a huge factor that we want to try and mitigate. It does come from cutting yourself off because you feel like you have to, you feel like there has to be that loneliness, that isolation but there doesn’t. If anything, having that support network, reaching out for a helping hand can make such a difference.

B – And we’re back to that person-centred approach, where everyone’s story that will be different, but there will be bits of everyone’s story that you’ll resonate with. There’s so many similarities especially within behaviours in addiction.

M – And having people with lived experience on this podcast is how we hope we can really drive that message home because we work with it every day but I personally haven’t lived it, nor has Bekkah. We’ve learned about it through other people but having people who have lived it here and we can learn from them as much as they learn from us. So, it’s really exciting.

B – And obviously, all the impacts of how they managed to get to where they are. But also, how do you maintain that recovery? What helped at the end of it to get your life back to where it was before or into a better place than it ever was before?

M – We’re not wanting anyone to compare anything because recovery is not linear

B – Recovery is not linear. There’s peaks and troughs, ups and downs and all progress is good progress!

M – Exactly, bumps in the road but it’s all about taking it one day at a time. So as much as you can hear these individuals’ stories, don’t compare your own to theirs. Take inspiration from it, don’t try and replicate it, because it’s not one size fits all here, in any aspect.

B – I could honestly say that in a week worth of being client facing, I don’t take the same approach with any two clients.

M – No, exactly. And none of them would respond the same to one approach either. So, take what you want from it, if something resonates with you try implementing that in your own way. Think about your own circumstances, reach out to somebody, and see how they can help with it. Whether that be a friend, a family member, us here at the RCA or another service, it can be anybody at all. But reaching out can help you get well, stay well and move on. There I’ve gone and done it now!

B – You’ve done it, it’s a tagline. It’s like when you’re reading a book, and the title of the book is inside one of the sentences its like yes! Full circle moment!

M – And I think throughout the rest of the podcasts we’re going to try and get some audience participation. That sounds like I’m running some sort of game show. So, we want to hear from you if there’s any questions you want answered, any specific topics you would like to see covered, if there’s anything from your experience that you would like to speak about anonymously you can do that. Please contact us on our various social media channels. You’ll find us as RCA Trust on Facebook and Linked in, as @RcaTrust on X (formerly known as twitter) and @rcatrust_ on Instagram. You can get us there using the hashtag #GetWellStayWellMoveOnPodcast or you can dm us, our dm’s are always open.

B – Alternatively I know that social media isn’t for everyone, so we do have an enquiry form on our website. So you will find our website as the RCA Trust, we are obviously based in Paisley, make sure it’s the right one and that its not the RAC Trust. We don’t deal with car breakdowns. You can pop and enquiry and we can back to you through that as well. So, just to recap, going forward we will be releasing a monthly podcast, hopefully released in the last week of each month. With varying different themes, topics and guests and if anything in this podcast has resonated with you or you are looking for an addiction charity to reach out to for some support, then we are the RCA Trust and you can get in contact with us phoning us on 0141 887 0880 or through any of our numerous social media account that Maria rhymed off earlier.

M - We are also available on email as well, at info@rcatrust.org.uk so you can give us a wee email and we can get back to you. We hope you’ll tune in next month for our February podcast where we’ll be talking about Scotland drinking culture.

B – Problematic.

M – Very problematic. We are going to be joined with one of our other team members, Debbie. Debbie works as a practitioner in the advice centre side of the service and she herself has had issues with alcohol and worked in a pub at the time. She’s going to be talking about what it was like when she was drinking alcohol in that environment, what it was like when she was abstinent from alcohol in that environment, what responsibilities she had being part of that culture and talk about her experiences. So, it should be fun to have a wee chat with Debbie.

B – I think what’s really nice about having a chat with Debbie as well is that now that she works in the sector, she can then relate those experiences back. So a bit of a reflection tool would be good, but also how she takes those experiences, and shapes them into the support that she provides for our clients. I think it’ll be a good full circle moment for Debbie as well!

M – Absolutely, it’ll be really interesting for people to hear that. And with Scotland’s drinking culture I can’t think of a single environment in Scotland where drink isn’t involved. Even in situations where people would think that alcohol wouldn’t be present.

B – Children’s second birthday parties… Places you wouldn’t expect.

M – Baptisms. Situations where it becomes involved. So, it’ll be good to speak about that and if you find that you are part of the Scottish drinking culture or are contributing to the Scottish drinking culture, we can talk about alternatives. Ways around it, ways to navigate your way through a Scottish drinking culture if you’re deciding not to partake in it. We will cover all of this next month.

B – Also, identifiers if you think that your drinking patterns and behaviours are starting to become problematic when it is very prevalent around you.

M – We hope you’ll be tuning in next month, thank you to listening to us. This has been the get well

B – Stay well

Both – Move on podcast.

M – So I have been Maria

B – And I have been Bekkah

M – Thank you very much for listening, we’ll speak to you next month

B – See you next month

M – Bye

B – Bye-bye

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1 Comment


Kricker
May 01

It's great to see organizations like the RCA Trust providing such vital support and resources to those who need it. I would really like to see a video on this topic. By the way, when creating video content, try using https://www.movavi.com/learning-portal/best-video-editing-software-for-beginners.html It's simple, convenient and free.

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