Feedback from our volunteer coaches and peers

What people have to say about Health Connect Coaching

The Health Connect Coaching Programme has been developed and designed in collaboration with people living with a long-term health condition(s). The programme continues to be adapted based on feedback, comments and suggestions we receive from both our Volunteer Coaches and ‘Peers’ who access the programme. As a service, we pride ourselves in our personalised, high quality, person-centred approach which we continue to tailor to the wants / needs of our population. This is why the feedback we receive is such a pivotal part of the programme and its ongoing adaptations.

Well firstly I’d like to say Well Done! It’s not easy to accept that you might need a little help and for you to admit that and then do something about it shows that you are on your way and I have no doubt that working together with your personal Health Connect Coach you will succeed.

I have always been one to just get on with things, not wanting to bother anyone else with my issues, always telling everyone that I’m okay – laughing and smiling whilst struggling to cope. I’m sure you know that feeling. Well let me tell you that with your Health Connect Coach you now have someone you can talk to, someone who understands because they have been in a similar situation.

I am on the wrong side of 70 and was a bit reticent about joining in this programme as I didn’t want to be pouring out my heart to a ‘youngster’ who had little life experience, who I would have little in common with. You can imagine my surprise then when I first spoke with my coach to find she was in her late 30’s/early 40’s, interested in crafting and card making, just like me, an animal lover just like me! We got on really well from the very beginning. She is very easy to talk to but also doesn’t let us stray too far from the task of giving me pointers to what things might help and I have to say that following some of her suggestions I sleep better and longer than I have for quite a while!

So, my advice is – go into this with an open mind, there is no exam, no winning or losing to worry about just a listening ear and a helpful hand and you will find that it helps and you will feel less alone, more in control, and completely supported!”

Best wishes,
A fellow HHC peer

If you are thinking abouth becoming a peer supported by a Health Connect Coach, I really think you should give it a try.

I habe been living with my chronic condition for seven years and felt as though I had ‘read it all’ and ‘done it all’ in terms of looking for a stratagem to help me cope with the disease. But there was somethinggoing on which compelled me to keep on looking for support even though I wasn’t greatly enthusiastic about dwelling on my symptoms and talking about just ‘how awful’ my life had become.

But I am so glad I founds the Health Connect Team. My Peer Support lady was struggling with quite different health issues but there was an immediate recognition of shared ‘challenges’ in dealing with everydaye life. I could only cope with a three quarter of an hour Zoom session at strategically tapered time intervals, but this was perfect; we didn’t have too long to ‘wallow’. We discussed various coping mechanisms, some of which I had been aware of. But talking about how to actually introduce these into the daily round rather than viewing them as an intellectual tool gave me fresh enthusiasm to keep using them.

The sessions gave a focus and allowed time to deal in depth with the difficulties rather than just keep on pushing through and ignoring the warning signs that it was time to change activity / have a break / change the thought pattern or simply wave a white flag and ask for help. But, for me, the huge benefit was in spending time with someone who understood and where no explanation or apology was needed. I could be myself as I am along with my ‘condition’, rather than pretending to be the person that people (and I, too) wanted me to be. And this new awareness allowed me to reach greater acceptance of myself as I now am not only in the sessions but in my everyday life.

Good Luck & Enjoy!

The first phone call with the coordinator made me, for the first time, see a positive in my conditions.
I haven’t committed to 10 years and I haven’t missed one single session for the training.
After the session I felt relieved it went well and I am always impressed by the peers determination, turning up with a smile on their face no matter what they go through – that’s what makes it all worthwhile.
I didn’t know what it was going to be like but getting the feedback in real life seeing the recognition in the persons face and body language made it all worthwhile.
I find my peer a true inspiration – everyone’s cancer journey is different but the beauty of being a Volunteer Health Connect Coach is listening to others you can pick up on their positive notes and establish what has been achieved. My peer gives me motivation to do things – if they can do it then so can I!
“When I am feeling helpless, HCC helps me to feel helpful!”

At a time, I felt so alone, it was like having 2 arms pulling me in for a hug and saying Come on, it will be ok.
You want to talk to someone but the doctors are too clinical and the nurses although supportive haven’t lived through it to know how you feel with all the physical, mental and emotional changes so talking to someone who has gone through it helps.
I feel it when the coach’s face tells me he knows how it feels.
It is said that men find it harder to open up and talk but my wife finds this harder than I do. Gender doesn’t matter when it comes to opening up it depends on the personality of the person talking and the connection with the person listening. After 4months into coaching I was opening up well to my coach.
The trust and rapport happen over time
At the beginning of the journey having structure makes sense and made me do it but structure made it hard to fit into my life’s unpredictable circumstances, I needed flexibility to make it personal and caring for me – HCC done just this.
I can’t talk to my family because they haven’t lived with my condition.
Without the support of the sessions with my coach I think I would have ‘gone under’.
Spending time with my coach who understood just how galling it is to lose your spontaneity and ability to take part fully in life was one of the most important aspect of the Coaching experience
I would have found it difficult had my coach been of the ‘pull yourself together and get on with life’ approach. The course and my coach pitched it just right.

You have helped me loads, you have been great and I can’t thank you enough.
Really good to talk. I find it really helps so thank you for giving your time.
I want to thank you all for setting up and running this amazing support service.