Testimonies

TLC St Luke's has helped many people over the years, here are some of their testimonies (please note, some names have been changed):

 

I worked in a designer shoe department in Kendals I lost my balance because I was wearing plastic shoes and the ladder was made of plastic. I slipped and I was unconscious. At the Manchester Royal they said that I was okay to return to work, but ever since I have had a back problem. It’s at the base of my spine, I can’t stand for too long, and it needs regular manipulation of the muscle. So Adele has been giving me massages. Adele has really helped me so much. I started having the massages when I first came here, so for about four years I’ve had massages every six weeks; I have been using the Treatment Room regularly for a long time. If it wasn’t available here it would be much too expensive for me to have that kind of regular treatment anywhere else. I just wouldn’t get it. The Treatment Room has really come into its own for me.
St Luke’s has benefitted me in a big way because I am meeting people that have the same problems as I do and we can unite together and talk. It helps to know that you are not on your own with these problems - and it is a big problem - I mean it’s being more highlighted now in the news, but in the 1960s and 70s you didn’t mention mental illness. It was taboo. It was something to be ashamed of. Things have changed tremendously.
I try to be sociable here, I was very shy when I first went out to work I have been on a few trips here and on holidays, it’s great! I would sum up the whole of St Luke’s as being hope, that there is hope... for everybody.

 

Mirriam arrived at the St Luke’s Art Project after seeing publications that a friend of hers had produced with Slap-Dash Publishing. Mirriam is a Jamaican lady in her sixties who had never used a computer; her wish was to write an autobiographical account of her early years in Jamaica and to put down on paper – for all to see – the distressing, hugely touching and often humorous stories of being abused by her own family members, being unable to attend school due to financial restrictions that made her life very difficult, her search to find true love, and an interesting reflection of life living in Waterhouse during years of political conflict. Mirriam went on to prepare a magazine for publication and has written a spiritually inspired monograph entitled “Death of Poverty”. Her work when published will be on sale online so her friends and family in Jamaica will be able to order and receive her work. During this process Mirriam has gained skills in word-processing, creative writing, design and layout, internet research and using social networking sites, and she now is the proud owner of her own laptop with which she continues to pusue her new-found passion.

 

With suffering from depression I started seeing Paul Evans at my doctors’. Paul told me about the drop-ins on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel they have helped me a lot because I now mix more with other people and I help others as well. I suffer from epilepsy and with this condition I feel I get a lot from St Luke’s. On Tuesdays they put on a meal which helps me a lot because cooking is very dangerous for me to do on my own. On Tuesdays, I also do some shopping at the drop-in from the Herbie fruit and veg van. If find this so convenient because normally when I go shopping I have to watch where I shop because of my fits. I also use the Art Project a lot. I have done some art classes before and I find it so relaxing and rewarding. Doing art helps me to switch off and relax and also to build up my self-esteem by realising where my talents lie. On Thursdays I enjoy coming to the Chinese meals, which are very reasonably priced. After the meal I go to the relaxation class, which has helped me with stress and my fits, and I sleep much better. At the dropins I sometimes have a massage treatment – which I had never had before until I came here. Using St Luke’s Centre has helped a lot with my depression. I feel like part of a community and I give my help when they need volunteers, so I am realising what I can do to help myself and give back to the others.

 

It’s especially good for socialising, I’d probably be quite isolated if it wasn’t for St Luke’s.

 

I use the art project a lot. I have done some art classes before and I find it so relaxing and rewarding. Doing art helps me to switch off and relax and also to build up my self-esteem by realising where my talents lie.

 

The beauty of this place is that you can’t describe it actually – it’s everything that everywhere else isn’t!

 

The thing about St Luke’s is that I can come here on a good day and that’s fine, and I can come here on a bad day and get the same reception – to me that’s a very big thing. And it’s only a 20-minute cycle ride!

 

St Luke’s has made me feel like an artist. It’s really hard for me when people ask what I ‘do’, but recently I have been telling people about my art work.

 

I’m learning important skills, learning and remembering, thinking.

 

I had a lot of problems over my water bill, and he (Roger) fought tooth and nail for me and we got it sorted in the end. Everyone else would have probably coped better, but it made me ill, it destroyed my faith.

 

Without St Luke’s AA it would be frightening to think where we would be: beyond repair, if not dead because 22 years drinking (since this group started) is a long time.

 

I feel very strongly about St Luke’s. I really believe that it provides something very special, something unique. I believe it benefits the staff as much as the ‘service users’. I think it benefits the community in ways that can’t be measured. It spreads hope and strength. If only you could bottle it!