Iris is ‘on top of the world’

Iris Morris has travelled a difficult road but has now become a professional peer support worker in Warrington for Alternative Futures Group.

Iris has now told her story in a specially-made video. After a period of mental illness in hospital, she was scared that she’d never get a job again: “I’d always been an active and independent person but I was really concerned that I’d never work again.”

However, a volunteer at the hospital inspired Iris: “She really helped and looked after me. She gave her all to me. The fact was that she was doing all this for nothing. It made me think about what I wanted to do with my life.”

So, after leaving hospital, Iris decided to volunteer and support people with similar mental conditions to the ones that had affected her.

“I felt that I could relate to them because I’d been through a similar thing which helped me at the same time. And I decided I wanted to take it further.”

Iris found and attended a support worker course in Liverpool which included former service users which encouraged her. She passed the exam after completing a long essay which she found challenging but successfully delivered.

“I was delighted to pass the exam and qualify. There needs to be more professional support workers like me working with service users. I know the feelings they have, what it’s like.”

“It was not an easy road. There were set backs along the way but with my determination and drive to succeed I did not give up. I enjoy being able to give my all to others. Working for AFG makes me feel valued, important and I feel like I can give back. Their support has been immense. I have a voice and I am able to give back.”

“I’m now on top of the world. My illness has been turned into a positive and embraced by the system. I’m the old Iris again.”

AFG’s Director of Human Resources Kirsty Muldoon said: “We’re absolutely delighted for Iris. She has come a long way since her own personal challenges. Her unique insights are invaluable in supporting our service users. We’re always looking for potential support workers who have the kind of life experiences that Iris has to offer.”

AFG’s Team Leader for Warrington Hayley Dale said; “Iris is an asset to the supported living services in Warrington. Her experience enables her to relate well to the people we support. She has been there, felt it and seen it. Her attitude to her work is exemplary, and anyone thinking about working in mental health should speak to her.”

Catch Iris’s full story here or on the AFG website under ‘Our Staff Stories.’