Relationships and the Virtues of an Egg - Mental Health Awareness Week 16 - Jamil Ahmed

We believe that baking and structured support can both help to improve people's wellbeing. That's why all of our bakery trainees undergo a set 12 week training programme plus the option to work with our Employability, Substance Misuse, and Wellbeing Co-ordinators and to attend their weekly series' of workshops.

This week's blog comes from Jamil - our Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Providence Row

I have been told that eggs are one of the most important, indispensable ingredients in baking. Recipes not calling for eggs are few and far between, and for good reason. Eggs do a multitude of tasks such as bind, emulsify, thicken and help towards setting. They can be used as the base, fillings, and also for adding flavour and colour.

Very few ingredients, if any - can do so much in baking. The egg’s amazing ability to do a multitude of tasks is not the only reason we use them; it’s their propensity to do them all at once.

What’s with all this egg-talk you say? Well…

Mental health has a lot to do with other people as it does with the individual and one of the ways to promote a better mental being is through relationships. It isn’t difficult to see why relationships matter for mental health recovery. They provide support, validation, trust, a nurturing environment and a sense of empowerment. The main ingredient that holds everything together are relationships.

The concept of the family

Our staff are great at creating an environment where clients can come together, develop social and emotional ties with the view in helping them to begin their process of recovery.

One of the things that I was acutely aware of was the concept of family and how it is promoted within Rise & Providence Row (our parent charity). It’s done mostly without realising – which demonstrates the sensibilities of the staff as well as the clients that access the services.

There are traditional functions such as food, shelter, security as well as structural features which recognises age, gender, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and spirituality. More importantly the staff are great at creating an environment where clients can come together, develop social and emotional ties with the view in helping them to begin their process of recovery.

You only have to take a trip to the kitchen to see the family at work. Clients coming together, preparing food for others as well learning important life skills – that a problem halved really is a problem shared. And just like families – we understand that sometimes clients outgrow their roles and need something more. So we promote our clients becoming peer-mentors, so that they can give back to others who maybe at the beginning stages of their recovery and wellbeing.

Social context

At providence row we run groups and activities that engage clients to try new things as well rediscover old interests. However, implicit reason is very much about social intelligence. Part of wellbeing and recovery is being comfortable to navigate the complexities of social landscape and that’s what our groups offer. A diverse mix of people come together every day, for five days a week from the morning till close of business – sharing experiences, positive and negative. Much like a microcosm of society. These latent skills developed by the clients have had a profound influence on behaviour and their progression.

As I started with eggs, I shall end with eggs.

Eggs have been used in the past to develop vaccines for chicken and small pox. They are grown in fertile eggs of chickens and then developed into an intervention fit for human use leading to great social benefits. What we do in Providence Row is to provide a nurturing environment through our supportive relationships so that clients begin to lead meaningful lives - with or without eggs.

Take a look at our online store to see the amazing products our homeless trainees help make. Every penny goes towards continuing the top notch support we offer.