We wouldn’t get anywhere without our volunteers – they get all the work done and keep us running
Directors: Volunteer Management Committee
We call the members of the management committee ‘directors’ coz they direct our work – they volunteer their time for free!
I first discovered LifeSIGNS in 2003, and it came as a surprise to learn that there were other people who hurt themselves in order to cope with various overwhelming aspects of life.
Because I didn’t have any prior knowledge of other people self-injuring, I had no pre-conceived ideas about ‘who’ self-injured. So I wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised to find that LifeSIGNS had been founded by and was run by a man.
I was surprised when I realised that the media had other ideas, and that they thought everyone who hurt themselves was a teenage girl. I wanted to change these stereotypes. I think we have come some way in achieving this over the past decade+.
Discovering that I wasn’t alone in self-injury was reassuring, but it also made me sad to know others were hurting themselves, perhaps in silence. I decided that I wanted to raise awareness about self-injury, and educate people. I wanted to change perceptions and help provide resources . And I wanted to reach out to people who were hurting, alone and in silence.
So I joined LifeSIGNS in an official capacity and became a director in 2007.
My ‘real’ job is as a healthcare assistant, and being in constant contact with various healthcare professionals has helped me empathise with the other side of self-injury, and the frustrations that can be involved in dealing with people who self-injure. I’ve always been interested in training people who deal with those who self-harm, and have delivered talks on the subject. As LifeSIGNS grows, one of my ambitions is to work on our training packages.
I’m a wannabe writer at heart and I never go anywhere without a notebook and pen. I love nature and animals; I love books and words, and I love arts and crafts. I’ve never been bored in my life.
Jules (at) lifesigns.org.uk
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Chair (-at-) lifesigns dot org dot uk
07950705258 (Enquiries only please – this is not a counselling line.)
Tackling the stigma around self-injury is important to me as I don’t want anyone to feel alone in their self-injury. I know it’s a coping mechanism – a way to deal with the emotional and mental stresses.
I struggled with my self-injury, and the drivers behind it, from a very young age, and again as an older teen, and later as an adult. I understand how easy it is to rely on anything that just helps us get through dreadful moments. I understand the awful trap of self-injury.
I founded LifeSIGNS in 2002 to raise awareness about self-injury; at the time, I couldn’t find decent information on the web for UK audiences. I knew more could be done, and I brought together a team of volunteers to create online info services.
Over the years, our team has changed and developed, and so have our services. I’m proud to lead our charitable organisation as part of the Management Committee and I’m pleased to be so involved in our website, the content we publish, our social media outposts, and the real-life training we deliver.
Now that LifeSIGNS is in our second decade of operations, we’re expanding everything we do so as to offer worthwhile information and support to more people across the UK. The stigma around emotional and mental distress has lessoned in my lifetime, yet prejudice remains and people are still terrified of discussing self-injurious behaviour. LifeSIGNS has much more work ahead of us, and many more people to reach.
Wedge is my real name (these things happen, I assure you) and no one at LifeSIGNS uses their surnames.
Chair (-at-) lifesigns dot org dot uk
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