A couple of weeks ago, I had a most enjoyable hour and a half being interviewed by a psychologist on the subject of personal resilience. She was interviewing me as a case study on how someone who has worked for a long time in a stressful position, in my case for almost 31 years, without burning out. The truth is I feel as enthusiastic about my work today as I have ever felt. The interview was a useful escape from the day-to-day pressures of my job, and a treat to be able to reflect on my core belief systems, the values I hold, and the opportunity to express them through my job.
In addition to my core beliefs and values, there are a number of other factors that sustain me. The first is being in an organisation that does such amazing work and brings about real benefits for the people who use our services.
Then there are all of the staff who work for BHT who, day in and day out, year after year, dedicate themselves to bringing about real change in people’s lives.
Over the last few weeks I have been particularly aware of that dedication following the death of our friend and colleague Cliff Iffland who passed away recently and whose funeral took place on Thursday.
As I recently wrote on this blog, “(Cliff’s) work with clients was life changing for many individuals, and there are many people in recovery whose lives are still healthy and fulfilling because of working with him”.
I was talking to another colleague, Paul Goddard, about resilience and the amazing rewards we get from seeing lives changed. Paul works at the sharp end of our work, something that I would struggle to do. He manages the Phase One project, our 52 hostel in central Brighton where we house some of the most challenging people in the city.
Paul made reference to frequently bumping into people who he hardly recognises. It then occurs to him that they are people he knew when they were very unwell, coming into the hostel off the streets. Now they are healthy and thriving in their lives. He used the word which sums up what I think about BHT. He said: “That’s the BHT magic”.
It is a privilege to work for this organisation and to see the magic that colleagues like Cliff, like Paul, and 250 others do on a day-to-day basis. I’m so grateful.