A Volunteer's view
by Dianne Ludlow
Looking back at the past year and writing about the experience of being involved with One In Four was a bit like taking a new look at an old friend and realising just how different they look from the beginning of that year.
It seems to have always been there…trustworthy, supportive, protective, challenging, dynamic, a lot of fun…are just a few descriptions that come to mind. But just as you could not put your friend’s character and personality into a few sentences, nor can you with One In Four.
It’s a living entity – responding and developing constantly to what is a huge need. At the conception of the organisation the short-term vision was to provide a safe space for people who wanted support. But short-term and long-term quickly merged like a whirlwind, highlighting the shameful and negligent way abuse has been dealt with within our “caring” society. So within the past year – One In Four has made powerful strides towards becoming a well-known and respected national organisation. The shaming documentary with News night; the development of training programmes for both Social Services and voluntary organisations; an advocacy service to numerous individuals; the campaigning and lobbying of Parliament on the issues of and surrounding abuse; turning a cold, dank and gloomy premises into a wonderfully warm, cosy and vibrant space; raising funds to try and pay for it all and generally attempting with great success, professionalism and empathy to support people in a pragmatic way particular to their needs.
When I look back and see myself a year ago – I can also see a lot of change. I now know all Vonda Shepard’s lyrics off by heart, I can use the fax with the sound turned down (that was a tough one), I don’t burn myself on the kettle so much and I can also enter the building without trying not to be seen by anyone… And without getting slushy USA style here – as that is NOT in my nature – I have to say that I’ve enjoyed every minute and have amazing respect, pride and love for the people who are One In Four and the incredible amount of hours and effort they put into it.