I came to 4Winds in desperation; I was very unwell. The staff at 4Winds were amazing. They listened to me and my mother and provided us with a ray of hope in an uncertain time. I was treated like a human being by the staff and other members, not like a walking illness, despite being very ill. I feel 4Winds is a vital service for mental health service users in Cardiff and offers a very positive environment.
I am one of many people that the team have supported and encouraged. 4Winds means a lot to very many different people I know, whether it is as a stable base from which to engage with other people in a safe supportive environment, or whether it is to find their feet and move on, with training and volunteering opportunities. I see the team working hard to maintain a caring, very user-friendly service.
I first was introduced to 4Winds through my Occupational Therapist. Initially I didn’t think that I needed such an organisation. However it soon became my rock and has helped me through some tough times, living with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. Every member of staff is approachable and all seem to just know when something isn’t right with someone. They are able to pick up on things that other places that I have been referred to simply don’t. 4Winds friendly atmosphere and gentle encouragement is crucial to the place. 4Winds also supported me with the financial side of my life. I was simply too afraid to try claiming PIP believing that I would end up with nothing. Due to 4Winds support I was awarded PIP which has helped make my life bearable. 4Winds is unique making every individual feel part of something.
One of the things I find helpful about 4Winds is that that the staff treat you as a whole person and are willing to take time looking at any difficulties or issues which are causing problems which makes your mental health harder to manage. A major problem for me was debt and money management. I was really struggling on minimum benefits. Over a period the staff helped me to resolve these issues. I was referred to a specialist Benefits Advisor and a 4Winds worker spent considerable time helping me get all the evidence I needed from health professionals. This resulted in me getting Personal Independence Payment which has made a huge difference to my living standards and daily coping skills. Also through 4Winds I was introduced to Cardiff Credit Union and have become a member which is making it much easier to manage my money and save. My contact with the Credit Union has been very positive and they have offered mean opportunity for weekly voluntary work.
4Winds has helped me build enough confidence to take control of my life and see that that my mental health doesn’t have to limit what I do. I am looking forward to the future and am even thinking that it would be possible for me to get a job in the future. Without the support of 4Winds I very much doubt I would have made these changes’.
4Winds has helped me in so many ways. I was very unwell when I started coming to the centre and I had a history of long stays in hospital including the old Whitchurch Hospital. Since having the support at 4Winds over the past few years, with staff and friends to look out for me I haven’t needed any hospital admissions.
I have been receiving support from 4Winds for nearly 2 years, getting support around my difficulties - mainly emotional support and paperwork which I couldn’t really manage. I am a single mother with five young children and struggle with speaking English, so I find it difficult expressing myself and being understood. I felt very stressed and isolated. A worker at 4Winds has been able to speak to me in my mother tongue language which has helped me so much in expressing my feelings. With 4Winds support I have engaged with other projects and am attending ESOL classes which are slowly building my confidence with speaking English. I am truly grateful for the support I have been given and I am slowly building my life back up again.