Five new trainees have joined the programme over the last couple of months, and several more are in the process of being referred. When someone joins, we gradually increase the hours they spend with us, so that we have time to build up a rapport with them, and they have time to understand how our programme works and whether they think it is right for them. Each person is different: some are eager to get going quickly; others need longer, often because they are at a point of transition in their lives, such as moving between care and independent living. 

One of the key values at Treasure Seekers (of which the Anchor is a part) is that people are more important than processes, so our first aim is to find out what a trainee cares about, what motivates them, and who they are as adult human beings. Often we play games to help them relax, or chat over coffee at the Cavern. It is great to see people grow in confidence; most are anxious and reserved when we first meet them, but after a few sessions you start to see more smiles, laughs and willingness to speak. Only when we’ve built up this mutual trust do we start to work with them seriously on their goals for the year.

This month a trainee who suffers from severe anxiety was stranded for three hours at a train station, when her lift was delayed. Rather than panic, the trainee went and sat in a quiet pub over the road, and imagined what her Anchor trainers would say if they were there. This way the trainee managed to stay calm while she waited, and commented that in the end the person collecting her was more stressed about being late than she was about the lateness! This is a great breakthrough, as the trainee discovered her resilience to an unexpected situation.