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Ronnie peer worker.jpeg


Peer Worker

Hi everyone! My name is Ronnie and I’m a peer worker for Take Off. I feel really privileged to be part of an organisation such as Take Off, one which has helped me so much and now I have the opportunity to give back.


I first came across Take Off a number of years ago, when my mental health was at its lowest and every day was a struggle. I didn’t have a job, had lost all my self-confidence and belief in myself and couldn’t see my life getting any better. Over the course of around three years, Take Off played a big part in my recovery and still does as I move forward. I now have a job, I’m regaining my confidence and have made many connections with local organisations as well as new people who are ‘in my corner’ and are a crucial part of my life and recovery.

I have been a regular member of Take Off’s cooking group, face to face before lockdown and then twice weekly online via Zoom. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these sessions and have learnt to cook many meals I’d never made before and wouldn’t have even tried had it not been for this group. Seeing familiar faces each week and checking in and chatting with each other has also been great – sometimes there’s been more of this than the cooking! This group has also been a tool to help me out of my comfort zone with food as this has been a part of my mental health issues in the past. I now run a cooking group with families for another Dover organisation, which I never would have done had it not been for the skills and confidence I have gained through Take Off.


As well as now being a keen chef (just call me Egon Ronnie!), I love to write and always have done. It has been a great way to deal with emotions and situations I’ve been unsure how to manage and one of my aims in life is to write a book. I’ve written poems, many about recovery, and a few short stories, and have often been seen sitting at my laptop changing the words to well-known songs to suit a special occasion or person. I wrote and recorded a song at the beginning of the first lockdown called ‘Look Towards The Sky,’ a song of hope through the pandemic and beyond. With music in my family, I started to play the trumpet when I was 11 and now although I don’t pick it up often, I do occasionally dust it off! I also run an online singing group which was formed last year bringing together a new community of people who simply enjoy singing together at the top of their voices, even though they’re all on mute!


So, that’s me in a nutshell. Once again, I am so proud and privileged to be part of Take Off and I look forward to helping others as I have been helped.

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