Latest Student Journeys 2018-2020 Bally's Student Journey About Bally Bally first arrived at Fircroft back in 2017 after leaving from her career in nursing several years before. Although she loved her job, Bally left her role as she felt she was persistently being bullied for years. This had a huge effect on her mental health and impacted all aspects of her life which resulted in her developing deep depression. However, after taking some time to heal Bally then wanted to do something to help and support the local community who may have been going through similar circumstances. Bally went on to study at Fircroft for 2 years, studying a variety of short courses including: Recognising and Dealing with Bullying Understanding Human Behaviours and Relationships Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Bally’s Volunteering Whilst completing her short courses with us, she then developed, lead and self-funded the Sandwell Asian Mental Health Support Group. She ran weekly drop-in sessions based in Oldbury Library. During the Lockdown Bally regularly supports her group members via a WhatsApp group and Twitter, as well as over the phone. Bally feels that it is important to stay connected; the role keeps her going and she finds it very satisfying. Bally is also planning to start Zoom sessions to maintain face to face contact. They will begin on May 27th which will be the 3 year anniversary of her launching the Sandwell Asian Mental Health Support Group. This helps her to maintain social contact within the lives of people who may be living on their own or just need someone to talk to during these unprecedented times. “I hope this group continues to flourish after the Lockdown is over, as caring and helping others is a key part of who I am”. Bally’s Poem Bally produced a poem which addresses her experience of bullying and her journey to overcome it: “Survivor” I am a mental health survivor, as a result of bullying, I became a fighter. I did the time, but didn’t do the crime. Through isolation, I became stuck in time, unable to sleep my mind went into overtime. Step by step my journey began, as I took hold of my life’s master plan. The door opened up a new opportunity, I had returned back into my community. Stand up to bullying at work, get support from your networks. Through determination, We can eradicate bullying discrimination. “The support I received when I arrived at Fircroft was overwhelming and I can’t thank the staff enough. They helped me through my learning and building my confidence. This has taken me to the next step in my life, achieving the goals I didn’t think I could reach. It’s a unique place to study as they offer residential learning; I enjoyed getting to meet new people from all walks of life. I would defiantly recommend any adult looking to develop their skills to take a look at Fircroft”. Fircroft College wishes Bally all the success in her future endeavours.