Kathi is taking part in the Working it Out project at AMH New Horizons North Down and Ards. Below she tells us a little bit about the benefits and joy she has gained from taking on an OCN Level 2 Award in Floristry…
“Approximately 13 years ago I finished my third, third level qualification and jokingly said to my colleagues ‘The next course I do will be flower arranging or something else pleasant!!’
Fast forwards 13 years and I have had two break downs, I have been diagnosed with a range of mental illness’, I no longer work, I attend Action Mental Health New Horizons for support and I am studying for an OCN Level 2 Award in Floristry!!
This course has rewarded me in so many ways. I have, despite my self-doubt, panic attacks and tears completed a range of tasks in a set time frame!! I have felt a sense of pride in my achievements. I have enjoyed learning new skills and the two hours a week where I was able to focus on the task in hand and not have to deal with my bouncing, revolving anxious brain. I have enjoyed the creativity and have been able to make decisions. I have been able to be comfortable in the presence of strangers who were also working on the course, knowing that we had the shared experience of suffering from mental illness and that we didn’t need to talk about it. There were times when I was crushed by the sensation that I was not capable of completing the award, but with the amazing support of the tutor I battled on through and succeeded.
Now when I buy a bunch of flowers I no longer open them and dump them in the vase,vase,vase! I arrange them! And I smile every time as it is a reminder of my success.
Kathi also produced this lovely little video about her course, capturing some stunning images along the way:
The “Working it Out” project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020, the Department for the Economy and the five NI Health & Social Care Trusts.