Maria pic

Maria Brown

Hi my name is Maria I have been a member of the Wishaw network for over 3 years.  I would like to take the opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself.  I was once in a band where I was the lead singer, I had my own catering business life was good for me up until my best friend passed away and my partner passed away shortly after. This was a very difficult time in my life which had a direct impact on my mental health. In the end it got all too much for me I stopped meeting with my friends, being part of the band the final straw for me was when I lost my business.

For the next 4 years I continued to struggle with my mental health and only left my home when I needed to, my confidence and self esteem was very low, day to day life was a struggle for me even the thought of using public transport made me extremely anxious.

I was then introduced to Neighbourhood Networks, my time with the NN has been a great healer having the support and encouragement from my Community Living Worker and other members who I now consider as my friends has had a very positive affect on my mental health. I am now experiencing more good days than bad. I now have a reason to leave the house, I am spending quality time with friends from the network and I am also building on relationship with other members from other networks.

Lately I have  been sharing my cooking skills with members in North Lanarkshire, we recently took part in a “Come Dine with Me” evening  which got everyone involved this made me feel really good about myself as I was able to share my skills with other people  it also gave me the  opportunity  to get to know other members better.

I have taken on a responsibility for overseeing the finances for the arts and crafts class.  I feel confident enough now that I sometimes take a trip into Glasgow by myself.  I have also enjoyed day trips with members throughout the summer months.

I am now considering going back the social club where l was a regular member for many years and where I have many friends.

Yes I still have days where I don’t want to leave the house and there a still things that happen in my life that make me feel anxious but slowly and surely l am getting there. It makes me feel good that I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am now thinking about my future and making plans. I could not have done this without the support of Neighbourhood Networks.