Introducing The Forum Admin Team
Hi, I'm Rai (short for Rachel). I'm the Chair of HVN, I hear voices, I see visions and have lots of different experiences that have led me to be labelled with a big 'old chunk of the DSM/ICD. I first went to a Hearing Voices Group back in 2001 (ish). It was life-changing for me in many different ways (it helped me find some friends, some kind of social life and helped me find a way of living with the experiences that were overwhelming me at the time). I found a way of being in the world that was OK. I went on to help co-facilitate the group and then, much later, I ended up as the manager of the London Hearing Voices Project (helping people set up and sustain these groups). We did loads of cool stuff there, including develop projects for children and young people, as well as people in prisons/secure units. It was a privilege to be involved with it for so long. Since then I went freelance, did plenty of travel (sharing the HVN vibe), trained as an Open Dialogue practitioner and am now studying.
Am still finding my way through my own experiences (things are sooooo much better, but life rarely goes smoothly in my experience and I've still got stuff I'm trying to make sense of and live with). Outside of the HVN stuff (which is pretty much a vocation), I am lucky enough to have a 2 year old daughter who keeps me on my toes (along with a giant puppy and 3 cats!). I love music, watch sugar-TV to chill out and really value nature (it helps keep my ego in check ... I am a tiny speck in comparison to the sea or the earth). I love reading (but rarely have the time these days) and have designs on being good at baking/bread-making ... but such dreams rarely make it beyond watching Bake Off (sugar TV).
I'm glad to be here supporting the forum ... and really grateful to those who are able to support it by donating
(we've raised almost £500 so far!). I'm hoping we can be quite a chilled out team and that, as the forum grows, we'll be needed less and less. Part of the HVN ethos is really trying to create spaces where it's OK to be ourselves and to feel accepted in our differences. However, I get that this isn't always easy - and our role is to help the community get through any hiccups or challenges as we figure out how to make this space as supportive as it can be.
Looking forward to seeing you on the forum.