The Restore Programme: How Coming Along Has Impacted My Life

The Restore Programme is a series of courses designed to help you feel in control of your life. But don’t just take our word for it! Here’s Rachel’s* story of how she came to join and complete the Restore Programme…

“I found out about the Restore Programme through my Social Prescriber. At first my anxiety was playing up because I didn’t know anyone on the course, but actually I didn’t worry about it as much as I thought I would. Normally I would’ve been ‘nah I’m not doing this, it’s not happening’, but then I thought, ‘do it, try it, give it a go’, and now I’m back again for another go around!

Doing the Programme was something I would look forward to each week and it felt like an achievement because you got your certificate at the end. There have been a few things I’ve learnt like money management: my money used to go so quick but now I know how to manage and budget and spend it and make it last, so that’s been great.

The anxiety was a new thing that started happening when I moved to Lincoln, so that was something I’d not had to go through before. Meeting new people felt like a big step but we hit it off and I really enjoyed the work and it was easy to come along when we got going. 

I’d not long moved to Lincoln before starting the Restore Programme: I moved up here because of domestic abuse, and I chose Lincoln because I’ve got family here. The flat here is better for my illnesses because in London I lived on the fourth floor and if the lift was out of order I couldn’t go out because I couldn’t manage the stairs, whereas here I’m on the ground floor. My dog came with me from London and she didn’t know what to do with herself when we first moved here and there was grass just outside the door!

My favourite bit on the Restore Programme were the Money Management sessions, they were really helpful. Sitting and listening to the tutor and making notes was great, and afterwards I’d sit and think about what we’d done in class, and make more notes. I am better off now – or at least I’m not always skint – and I’ve always got food in, I’ve got electric and gas in the meter, and I’ve got my bills paid – which is amazing because I was behind in a lot of stuff when I moved here – I’ve learnt to manage it better than I have done before.

Having my money under control makes a big difference because now I can go out and think, ‘I’ll pop in McDonalds and get a coffee’, knowing I’ve got that money, but go back eighteen months and I might think, ‘I’d like a drink’, and I’d check my balance and I wouldn’t have it. But now I can say, ‘yeah I’ve got it’, and it’s such a nice feeling because worrying about money affects you mentally and you lose sleep because it plays on your mind. Money is a part of living and you need it to survive – so I’ve learnt lots on that one. 

Working with Sally [during the Life Ready sessions] helped with my self esteem and self respect which wasn’t really there at the beginning. Chatting in the group was really helpful, getting a chance to hear some stories and share some thoughts. 

Sorting out my money was such a big thing for me, and I can talk to people more now that I’ve got my confidence back. I can be more kind and friendly to people, because it’s nice to be like that. I’m all on top of my bills and sorted now which is a great feeling: no more stress! Once Christmas is done I might even be able to save something – I can’t even say how brilliant that is.

I’ve made contact with a care home near me for some volunteering: I’ve just got to wait for my booster jab and then I can start going in and chatting and volunteering there two days a week. I’ll get to go in for a couple of hours, chat to the residents and I’m really looking forward to that. Working right now isn’t really possible because of my health, but I’m excited to start volunteering because it gets me out and seeing people, and helps keep me going and my brain active.

When I first joined [the Restore Programme] I wanted to sort out my budgeting, get some more self respect because I didn’t have a lot for myself when I started, and I’ve learnt there are people out there I can talk to. When I started I didn’t know any of that. Now I’ve been here and I’ve learnt that there are people and places who are there to help: I’ve got a key worker, I’ve got a social prescriber, I’ve got the police who pop by every two weeks just to see how I am. I’ve got things getting fixed in the flat now. So it’s all looking up, it’s all looking good. I’ve not self harmed in about three months and that’s a big milestone for me. I do have urges sometimes but I overcome them.

Apart from the budgeting stuff, the biggest benefit [of coming to the Restore Programme] has been meeting nice people, and getting to see other people’s situation and knowing it’s not just me, that’s been nice.

If you’re thinking about coming along to the Restore Programme I’d say just do it because you’ll have fun, meet people and learn something good.” 

*name and some details changed to protect identity.

The Restore Programme

The Restore Programme is a series of courses designed to help you feel in control of your life. We currently run:

Life Ready

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Money Management

Job Club

All our courses are FREE and open to anyone over the age 16. 

To find out more about the courses available at Restore – or to sign up! – please visit  

To volunteer with us or found more about ways to support the work of Restore, please click here.

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