Beverly Brindle, from Hindley, was praised by employer Making Space for setting up free mindfulness sessions at Warrington Day Service, which supports people with mental health problems.
The volunteer co-ordinator was rewarded with a Living Our Values award from the Warrington-based charity.
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Beverly decided to hold mindfulness sessions after realising many of the people she supported were struggling with intrusive thoughts and finding it difficult to relax.
Her manager Stephanie Dolan said: “Bev has taken on some extra training and has created her own mindfulness class at Warrington Day Service, which has proven incredibly popular among our service users, with around 20 people attending each session.
“Not only has she been supporting others to try new things by attending the class, she also had to overcome her own nerves to do what's best for the people she supports. Bev has really grown in self-confidence and worked hard to make sure each session was built around the needs of the people she supports.”
Beverly said: “I decided to do some research into mindfulness after one of our visiting guests came in to speak to our service users about using the technique to relax. After taking some online training, I suggested the idea to Steph, my manager, and she agreed that I could offer it as a service for a few weeks.
“People who struggle with mental health problems often focus on the past and have negative thought patterns, so what I wanted to do was help them to be in the present, not judge themselves or dwell on past negative experiences, and use a series of exercises and techniques to help create a more positive and calm mindset.
"The sessions covered things like taking notice of your senses, being aware of the environment, mindful eating, recognising and acknowledging negative thought patterns, daily affirmations, positivity and self-care.”
Beverly said setting up the group has boosted her own self-esteem.
She said: “My mindset has completely changed since I started researching mindfulness, planning the sessions and working with our service users. I recognise negative thoughts and conversations for what they are and turn them into positives, always look for the good in every day, and I’m grateful to get up every morning and work with such lovely volunteers, colleagues and people who come into the service.”
Beverly received a certificate and voucher from Making Space's chief people officer Phil Orton.
He said: “Our teams work so hard to support the people they work with, so we want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to help them to do that.
“We want to recognise and celebrate the things people do every day to make someone’s day meaningful – often, they don’t even realise themselves. It’s very important to us to highlight the little acts of kindness and the things our teams do that go above and beyond, not because they’re expecting a reward, but simply because they care.
“Bev is a great example of someone who gives her all – she dreams big, she exceeds expectations, she’s creative and flexible and she supports others to explore new things – even when it takes her out of her own comfort zone."