“NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL, THOUGHTFUL GROUP OF CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. INDEED IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS.”
Our little charity, all grown up and toddling off into the world, was not the creation of a single person, but was rather the culmination of lots of work and support by all sorts of folk over seven or eight years. This page celebrates those we could not have done without, those whose contribution to the organisation was substantial and inspiring, and those whose support helped us through the hard times. (Yup, we all have them!)
Two points . . . . . anyone currently employed, volunteering, or acting as a Trustee for Build on Belief is not eligible for this page . . . . . yet. Secondly, if you think you have earned the right to be a ‘BoB Hero’ please get in touch with the Chief Operating Officer and tell him why! It is both well known, and freely admitted that he often displays a memory little better than that of a goldfish!
GETTING OFF THE LAUNCH PAD
Terry was one of the two original co-founders of the organisation, way back in 2005 when the Badminton Club planted our first little service user involvement seed. Funny, often irreverent, and occasionally inspired, (if a highly unorthodox badminton player!) he was the complete opposite of Tim. Together they made an odd couple, but a highly effective team. Although Terry eventually chose to move on, we remember him with a smile, and never forget that without his sterling efforts this would all be just a dream!
It is easy to forget that when the original Saturday Social Club was commissioned in 2005, independent of service providers and entirely self-guided, it was a bold and unusual piece of commissioning that had not been done before, and in some quarters was viewed not only as unpopular but an accident waiting to happen. On top of that, Gaynor had to work with Tim and Terry, neither of whom had the faintest idea of what they were doing at times. Nowadays, with such projects popping up all over London, most modelled on this one, peer run weekend services might be regarded as an integral part of service provision, but it was not always the case.
Head of Adult Social Care for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Chair of the Drug and Alcohol Action Team from 2005 – 2011, Jean was highly supportive of the SUDRG (our pre-BoB name, its idiosyncratic idea of service user involvement and its role on the DAAT. It may well be that she was also amused by our rambling, chatty and occasionally over long reports. After all, we were rarely shy about coming forwards! Together with Gaynor, her support encouraged others perhaps less convinced to take us seriously, and helped to keep the wolves from the door. In a time when service user involvement was often tokenistic, especially at a DAAT level, such support was vital both to our development and erratic sense of self belief.
In 2005 Catherine was the Manager of the Portobello Project and not only allowed us to run our weekend service from her premises, but provided a huge amount of individual support to Terry and Tim. It is worth noting that both of us were in treatment and clients of the Portobello Project when we opened the Saturday Social Club! We had never worked in the field and tended to veer between a crisis of confidence and implacable certainty with an alarming regularity! As with Gaynor, it was a bold move to support an independent service user group to develop and run its own service, with no more control that the subtle art of suggestion.