Sandy Grant


 In February and March 2014 I was in hospital with a relapse and came to Canerows 6 months later for training and started visiting the wards in November of that year.  It started slowly, and I remember gradually realising that there was incredible potential in what I was doing.  It’s now been many years and I go to the ward I work on 3 times a week, and have had meaningful , and sometimes extraordinary, conversations with hundreds of people. I find it easy, now, to put myself in other people’s shoes and listen to what they are trying to tell me about their condition and circumstances.  So much of what people say is based on fear and I just try, gently, to point them in the direction of their own courage, or try to help them unravel their circumstances with a bit of clarity, or – anything really, that is needed.  I find people feel able to talk to me simply because I have been in their situation … as it happens I work in the same ward that I was a patient in.  Sometimes, people find it easier to relate to me just because of that. I highly recommend anyone who feels drawn to doing this to give it a go …you need empathy, patience, and listening skills and you will, if you’re anything like me, be rewarded with a great feeling of satisfaction and the privilege of witnessing people getting better again and again. And when they don’t get better, an ability to deal with that, too. As a person I am stronger, more clear, and have a feeling that I am doing what I was cut out to do, as a result of doing Ward Visiting.