Julia came to the Oxfordshire Recovery College a couple of years ago, on the suggestion of an employment coach who thought it might be a helpful step towards returning to work. At the time, the ORC was just getting going, however even in those early stages Julia found it to be an “environment in which people can encourage and support one another.” She enrolled at the college with the aim of becoming a tutor, and has now successfully completed the tutor training course. Having been out of work since 2015, she hopes to regain confidence through tutoring.

Along the way, Julia has been on many courses as a student and realised that while she has something to offer as a tutor, there’s a lot to learn from the other courses on offer as well. One of the things she has enjoyed most about attending courses is that the tutors and students “respect each other’s experiences and backgrounds”. She’s benefited from encountering people with mental health struggles different from her own, and enjoys the positive social interaction during courses.

Julia likes that at the ORC she sees individuals supporting one another across generations. One of Julia’s passions is creative writing – a habit she feels can be developed at any age, and last a lifetime! She’s used both creative and therapeutic writing over the years to support recovery and work through difficulties, and hopes to share her passion with others by tutoring on creative writing courses. For Julia, writing has been a way to find herself – “I needed to re-find my creative self…. The way we write really shows who we are and where we come from. Writing is a very deep way of learning about people.”