HOW WE STARTED.
Having a Chronic Illness herself Laura-Anne felt there was a need for a support group for those living with chronic disabilities and conditions. A trained counseller she was passionate about helping others and wanted to help those that were unable to access the support they needed. Having gone onto social media to see if there was interest in the local community, it was clear by the reaction and praise this was something the public wanted to have.
This was how Laura-Anne came to meet Jemima and Kevin, starting in July 2018 together they went on to form what is now known as Hidden Lives.
It was decided between the three to start a small group based in a local hair salon called Bombshells. Little did we know that ten months down the line Hidden Lives would become so popular within Plymouth, also going on to start its own Radio show. Hidden lives seem to be needed not only in the local community but also in the wider areas of Plymouth.
The strength of Hidden Lives comes from the foundations it’s built on this being trust, respect, belief and working in a positive direction to help those in need. The three founding members have not only built hidden lives but established strong bonds between the three of them and formed genuine friendships outside of hidden lives work.
HOW OUR CLIENTS FEEL.
Has been attending hidden lives since September 2018 she feels attending group sessions has been beneficial to her both in her personal life at home and in how she feels when going out. Attending the group, she has been able to explore her feelings regarding her condition and the treatment she has received over the years because of this. EH has come on so much she has now been asked to become one of the hidden lives mentors and help with in the hidden lives team this has boosted her confidence in many ways and we feel she will only continue to grow and both personally and professionally.
EH joined hidden lives in early September 2018, when she first started she came along holding her partners hand and her anxiety was through the roof. Through the time in sessions 121 and group her physical and emotional health has come on leaps and bounds she has gained confidence and made friendships within and outside the support of hidden lives. She has for the first time in her life went on job interviews with the support of hidden lives and has been able to do many activities without the support of her partner.
Hidden Lives was asked to help when clients of a local hair salon found it difficult to sit in one place for a long period of time. This often put them off going as they didn't want to make a fuss. After Hidden Lives stepped in to help, the salon has put in place many suggestions to ensure its client with Hidden Illnesses can enjoy the salon experience.
" Working with Hidden Lives has been very positive, having made small, cost effective changes they have seen an increase in returning customers especially those with Hidden Illnesses." Salon owner.